Main Menu
Street Children
Human Trafficking


Poverty & Hunger

The United Kingdom

In the early years of the 21st Century


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in the UK in the early years of the 21st Century.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of poverty are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the relationship between distribution of labor and per-capita GDP, for example.  Perhaps your paper could focus on life expectancy or infant mortality.  Other factors of interest might be unemployment, literacy, access to basic services, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include some of the possible outgrowths of poverty such as Human Trafficking, Street Children, or even Prostitution.  There is a lot to the subject of Poverty.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

*** ARCHIVES ***

The World Factbook - UK

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency CIA

[accessed 17 November 2020]

World Factbook website has moved to --->

[accessed 11 January 2021]

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW - leading trading power and financial center; third-largest economy in Europe after Germany and France; large coal, natural gas, and oil resources; banking, insurance, and business services, drive GDP growth

GDP - per capita (PPP): $44,300 (2017 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 1.3%

industry: 15.2%

services: 83.5% (2014 est.)

Unemployment rate: 4.4% (2017 est.)

Population below poverty line: 15% (2013 est.)

Maternal mortality rate: 7 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate: total: 4.1 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 81.1 years

Drinking water source: improved: total: 100% of population

Physicians density: 2.79 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access: improved: total: 100% of population

Electricity access: electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

The Borgen Project – United Kingdom UK

[accessed 1 February 2021]

The Borgen Project works with U.S. leaders to utilize the United States’ platform behind efforts toward improving living conditions for the world’s poor.  It is an innovative, national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy.  It believes that leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty. From ending segregation to providing women with the right to vote, nearly every wrong ever righted in history was achieved through advocacy. The Borgen Project addresses the big picture, operating at the political level advancing policies and programs that improve living conditions for those living on less than $1 per day.

~ How The Hygiene Bank Is Addressing Sanitation And Wellness In The Uk

~ Child Poverty In The United Kingdom

~ Solutions To The Rising Child Poverty Rates In The Uk Amid Covid-19

~ Homelessness In The United Kingdom

~ 10 Facts About Hunger In The United Kingdom

~ Cpag’s Campaign Against Child Poverty In The United Kingdom

Largest study of hunger in the UK released

Heriot-Watt University, 14 May 2021

[accessed 14 May 2021]

Almost two in three (62%) of the people of working age who were referred to a food bank in early 2020 were disabled while single parent families were more likely to be forced to a food bank. Almost one in five (18%) households referred during the pandemic were lone parents—more than twice the rate in the general population (8%).

The research from the Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Equalities Research (I-SPHERE) which was led by Professor Glen Bramley also revealed extremely low income as a key factor in driving people to food banks.

Children going hungry every day should be a scandal

Morning Star MS

[accessed 3 March 2021]

Child poverty in Britain is not new. Children going hungry in Britain is not new.

Unemployment is rising, wages are stagnating and precarious employment is becoming normalised.

Women are bearing the brunt of this rise in societal inequality as primary carers and low-paid workers.

There are 1.8 million single parents in the UK with 90 per cent of them being women with a median income of £194.40 per week, resulting in some of our poorest children relying on school meals in term time and often going hungry in holidays.

Recent figures indicate that eligibility for free school meals had already risen from 1.3 million to 1.44 million in England, based on the January 2020 census.

But two in five UK children under the poverty line are not eligible for free school meals.

Going to the Bank for Food, Not Money: The Growing Reality of Hunger in “Rich” Countries

Human Rights Watch World Report 2020

[accessed 31 January 2021]

The United Kingdom offers a stark example, as Human Rights Watch has documented. Since cuts in public spending on welfare for the poorest families began in 2010, use of the country’s largest network of food banks—making up an estimated two-thirds of the country’s food aid distribution—has skyrocketed 50-fold, to 1.6 million three-day emergency packages handed out last year. Smaller independent food banks have gone from a handful countrywide a decade ago, to around 820 today.

Brexit could exacerbate hunger in the UK, especially if the UK were to leave without a deal. UK food aid providers are worried that an abrupt, unplanned departure could disrupt food supplies and cause price shocks for the country’s poorest consumers whose incomes would be most hit by the short term economic upheaval.

With better legal protections, better measurement, and stronger policy responses, this entirely avoidable hunger can be reduced drastically. Hunger in wealthy countries is not inevitable, and food banks are not a substitute for government action. As the UN’s former special rapporteur on the right to food and 57 other prominent academic and nongovernmental organization voices have warned, we should never get used to the idea of “leftover” food for “left behind people”.

Ending period poverty: 'Scotland has set a blueprint to show it can be done'

Stuart Norval, Perspective, France 24, 7 December 2020

[Long URL]

[accessed 8 December 2020]

Research shows up to one in five women in the UK have had to miss work, education or leisure activities as they couldn't afford to buy period products ... Now Scotland has become the first country … to ensure … free access to sanitary products.

The World Bank in the United Kingdom

[accessed 21 April 2021]

A founding member of the World Bank, the United Kingdom supports multilateral efforts to promote human and economic development, reduce poverty, and boost shared prosperity around the world.

Looking back a few years …

Advameg, Inc., Encyclopedia of the Nations

[accessed 12 January 2021]

The United Kingdom, one of the most highly industrialized countries in the world, lives by manufacture, trade, and financial and commercial services. Apart from coal and low-grade iron ore, some timber, building materials, hides and skins, and natural gas and North Sea oil, it has few natural resources. Agriculture provides 60% of the food needed with only 1% of the labor force.

Since the 1979–81 recession, the British economy has posted steady gains. Between 1983 and 1990, real GDP increased by nearly 25%.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Prof. Martin Patt, "Poverty - UK",, [accessed <date>]