This report examines the changes in the adequacy of incomes, as measured by households’ ability to reach the Minimum Income Standard (MIS): a measure based on what the public think is needed for a minimum acceptable standard of living. It looks at the period between 2008/9 and 2012/13, a period when living standards fell substantially in real terms.
The proportion of people living in households with an income below MIS increased by nearly a third between 2008/9 and 2012/13. The proportion below this level has increased every year since 2008, but most of the increase occurred in the second half of this period. After the 2008 economic downturn, the most severe increase in the percentage unable to afford this minimum acceptable standard of living was initially among single people of working age. Since 2010, however, families with children have seen the greatest increases. Pensioners and couples without children remain the most likely to have an adequate income. However, a growing proportion of couples without children are finding themselves on an income that is just adequate rather than being well above the minimum.