Section 3  Deprivation 

10.       Income Support claimants 

Tables 10(a) to 10(e) break down the proportion of people claiming Income Support (IS) benefit. Table 10(a) covers the number of IS claimants as a proportion of the population aged 16 and over for all quarters between February 1999 and August 2003, and as a proportion of 16-59 year olds from November 2003 onwards (due to the introduction of Pension Credit). Tables 10(b)(i) and 10(c) to 10(e) break down the receipt of IS by broad client group, namely, Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG), Disabled, Lone Parents and 'Other' recipients. Pension Credit claimants are shown in Table 10(b)(ii). Please see Definitions for further details of the introduction of Pension Credit in October 2003. Northern Ireland figures (and therefore UK totals) for November 2003 were not available at time of going to press.

In August 2003, Northern Ireland had a higher proportion of the 16+ population claiming IS than any other UK region or country, at 13.9 per cent. The next highest proportion was in the North East, with 11.6 per cent. Chart 10 shows that the broad client groups show a similar pattern, with the exception of Lone Parent IS. Here, London had the highest proportion of claimants, at 3.5 per cent of 16-59 year olds, with the North East second highest at 3.1 per cent. Since February 1999, the South East has consistently had the lowest proportion of IS claimants, with the figure standing at 5.7 per cent of the 16+ population during August 2003.

The pattern continued for the regions and countries of Great Britain in November 2003. The North East had the highest proportion of total IS claimants at 8.6 per cent of 16-59 year olds, while the South East had the lowest proportion, at 4.1 per cent of 16-59 year olds.

Chart 10  

11.       Income deprivation

The information included in Table 11 and Chart 11 provides an indication of the distribution of income deprivation within each of the English regions. The percentage of the population dependent on Income Support (IS) benefits is used as a proxy for this. These estimates are drawn from the Indices of Multiple Deprivation 2000 (IMD 2000) for England. See Definitions for further details.

The electoral wards in each region have been ranked according to their overall deprivation score in the IMD 2000. The percentage of the population within families that are dependent on IS benefits has been calculated for the region as a whole as well as for the 20 per cent of the population resident in the most deprived wards within the region.

These results should be interpreted with some caution. The estimates deal with the number and percentage of people in families that are dependent on IS benefits, and not the value of the IS benefits being claimed. While IS dependent families may occur with some frequency in many of the wards within each region, it may well be that the average value claimed in the most deprived wards is higher than in the less deprived wards. This could mean that the difference between the poorest areas in each region and the region as a whole may be greater than is indicated here.

Chart 11  

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