Low income is just one indicator of poverty. A fuller picture looks at all resources, not only income. This can include access to decent housing, community amenities and social networks, and assets, i.e. what people own. Somebody who lacks these resources can be said to be in poverty in a wider sense.

In the UK, many people live in deprived communities, ones in which there are fewer jobs and people’s resources and hopes are low. This concentration of poverty can bring additional disadvantages. The phrase ‘social exclusion’ is used to describe the multiple social problems – for example, poor health, alcohol and drug abuse, high rates of crime victimisation and perpetration, limited ambitions and expectations, and high rates of family breakdown and reformation – these are often associated with living in a seriously disadvantaged area.

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