Skip the NI Direct Bar
Skip navigation

Northern Ireland Poverty Bulletin, 2011-2012

A bulletin entitled “Poverty in Northern Ireland, 2011-2012” containing statistics for the period April 2011 to the end of March 2012, was published today by Analytical Services Unit in the Department for Social Development.
Friday, 30 August 2013

The key findings include:

  • Average (median) income levels in Northern Ireland have decreased in real terms for three consecutive years. In 2011-2012 the average (median) income was £372 per week before housing costs and £336 after housing costs, both of which are the lowest level in real terms since the introduction of the Family Resources Survey to Northern Ireland, in 2002-2003.
  • The overall level of relative poverty in Northern Ireland has increased between 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. This increase was more marked for some population groups than in others. The overall long term trend has remained fairly stable, with approximately one fifth of the population in relative poverty in any given year.
  • In 2011-2012 there were approximately 379,000 people (21% of the population) in relative poverty and approximately 422,000 (24% of the population) in absolute poverty before housing costs.
  • In 2011-2012 there were almost 95,000 children (22%) in relative poverty and 109,000 children (25%) in absolute poverty before housing costs. The latter represents a 4 percentage point increase from the previous year.
  • In 2011-2012 there were almost 213,000 working age adults (20%) in relative poverty and almost 235,000 working age adults (22%) in absolute poverty before housing costs. The percentage of working age adults in absolute poverty in 2011-2012 is at the highest level since the start of the time series in 2002-2003.
  • In 2011-2012 approximately 72,000 pensioners (25%) were in relative poverty and approximately 79,000 pensioners (27%) were in absolute poverty before housing costs. The latter figure represents a five percentage point increase from the level of absolute poverty in 2010-2011, and is just one percentage point below the highest point in the time series; 28% in 2008-2009.

Notes to editors:

  1. This is the second annual publication entitled ‘Poverty in Northern Ireland’. This bulletin provides information on poverty in Northern Ireland for 2011-2012, as determined by net equivalised household income, and examines the changes in income patterns over time. This bulletin provides high level figures in advance of the Households Below Average Income Northern Ireland 2011-2012 publication being released.
  2. Figures presented in this bulletin are taken from the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) dataset, which is based on the Family Resources Survey (FRS).
  3. All monetary amounts quoted in the key facts and bulletin are in 2011-2012 prices and growth rates presented are in real terms that is, after inflation.
  4. The Family Resources Survey (FRS), is a continuous cross-sectional survey. It has been running in Great Britain since October 1992 but from April 2002 the Survey was extended to include households in NI.
  5. Although the FRS is specifically of interest to DSD, other government departments and outside researchers will benefit from the availability of such a data source. The database can be accessed through the UK Data Archive
  6. Reports for the United Kingdom are available from DWP at: DWP and for Northern Ireland at: DSD
  7. Further enquiries should be addressed to:

    Jonathan Kane or Ross Hume,
    Analytical Services Unit,
    Department for Social Development,
    Level 4, James House,
    2 Cromac Avenue,
    Gasworks Business Park,
    Ormeau Road, Belfast,
    BT7 2JD
    Email: Jonathan.kane@dsdni.gov.uk Tel - 028 90819907 ,
    Email: Ross.hume@dsdni.gov.uk Tel - 028 90819899
  8. Media enquires to DSD Information Office on 028 9082 9496. Out of office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned.