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Last Updated: Monday, 25 July, 2005, 15:24 GMT 16:24 UK
Poverty in numbers
What is poverty? The official definitions have changed over the years, reflecting people's changing priorities, fluctuating health and living standards, and the pace and requirements of modern life.

Graph showing proportion of UK's poorest households who have access to a variety of consumer variables
But so have people's perceptions of what even the poorest should not be able to do without. Social researchers discovered some intriguing differences between what poverty was perceived to mean - and what the reality is around Britain.

Here is an at-a-glance look at some of the findings of the analysis, carried out by the Universities of Bristol, Loughborough, York and Heriot-Watt in conjunction with the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Poverty and Social Exclusion in Britain based on nationwide surveys carried out in 1998 and 1999 by the ONS of representative samples of the public. Published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2000.

Spending money:59% of adults believe everyone should be able to spare a little money to spend on themselves each week. 13% say they don't have that.

Job interviews:69% say you should be able to afford appropriate clothes for a job interview. 4% say they can't.

Repairs:85% believe everyone should be able to afford to replace or repair broken electrical goods. 12% say they cannot.

Books:53% consider a dictionary a necessity.
5% don't have one because they can't afford it.

Furniture:54% think everyone should be able to replace worn-out furniture. 12% can't.

Travel fare:38% believe you should have enough money to cover the train or coach fare to visit family or friends four times a year. 16% say they haven't.

Hobby:78% say everyone should be able to afford a hobby or leisure activity. 7% say they can't.

Night out:Going to the pub once a fortnight is a necessity according to 20% of adults. 10% say they don't have the money.

Web access:Only 6% believe access to the internet is vital. 16% say they cannot afford it.

Graph comparing proportions of adults considering certain goods as necessities and those who cannot afford them




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