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 16-59 year olds from November 2003 onwards. Tables 10(b) to 10(e) break down the claims for IS by broad client group, namely, Pension Credit, Disabled, Lone Parents and 'Other' claimants. Northern Ireland figures are not directly comparable with the rest of the UK due to differences in data collection. Please see Definitions for explanation and for details of the introduction of Pension Credit in October 2003.

In November 2006, London had the highest proportion of the 16-59 population claiming IS than any other region in Great Britain, at 7.7 per cent. The next highest proportions were in the North East and North West, with 7.6 per cent for both regions. The Northern Ireland figure was 9.7 per cent. Since November 2003, the South East has consistently had the lowest proportion of IS claimants, with the figure standing at 4.1 per cent of the 16-59 population during November 2006. These patterns have been prevalent among the regions before and after the introduction of Pension Credit in the autumn of 2003.

Chart 10 shows that London has a higher proportion of IS recipients claiming Lone Parent IS (3.3 per cent of the 16-59 population) than regions.

Chart 10

11. Income deprivation

The information included in Table and Chart 11 provide 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 2004 (IMD 2004) for England. See Definitions for further details.

Within each region, the lower layer of the Super Output Areas (SOA) have been ranked according to their overall deprivation score in the IMD 2004. 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 SOAs 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 areas within each region, it may well be that the average value claimed in the most deprived areas is higher than in the less deprived areas. 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