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Breadline Britain
Poverty mapped

The first surveys of poverty were carried out in the late 19th century by Charles Booth.

His study of East End London helped bring poverty to the attention of Victorian Britain.

In Booth's time poverty was widely seen as the fault of the individual – with some people in poverty categorised as being ‘criminally poor'.

However, over time attitudes changed, with people in poverty increasingly seen as suffering from poor wages and social deprivation.

His map, opposite, from 1899, shows the diversity of life in part of Hackney and Bethnal Green.

Colour key to map
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