3D poverty

Poverty measurement is almost by definition controversial: there is no single, universally accepted definition of poverty. Poverty, its drivers and its consequences are defined and talked about differently by different political traditions at different times. The way we measure poverty, deprivation and social exclusion has been the focus of innovative work, but in the UK we still overwhelmingly focus on poverty as measured by income. This is a key time to be thinking about poverty measurement: the Field Review on Poverty and Life Chances has published a report which recommends a focus on the early years and broadens the outlook of poverty measurement. This pamphlet is a contribution to that debate.

3D Poverty does not suggest that the standard definition of income poverty as 60 per cent of the median income should be dropped. Its simplicity brings the benefits of relative transparency and easy application. However, it is not enough to just measure income poverty: there is the need for an annual, multi-dimensional analysis of poverty and social exclusion. This measure would track annually the depth of deprivation in the UK at a household level, and the overlap and interaction between different dimensions of disadvantage. This pamphlet contains a detailed methodology as to how that measure would work.