Gender and poverty
Income is measured at a household level, which makes it difficult to measure the poverty rate for individual adults living with a partner. For the 60% of women and men who live in couple families (with or without dependent children), both adults will either be above or below the poverty threshold. In the analysis below, we therefore exclude adults living with partners.
Chart 13. Relative poverty rates higher for lone mothers
In 2015-18, the relative poverty rate after housing costs was higher for lone mothers (39%, 60,000 lone mothers each year) than for other single working-age adults. The poverty rate for single working-age women without dependent children was 28% (130,000 women), and for single working-age men it was 26% (150,000 men).
Until 2010-13, the gap in poverty rates between lone mothers and other single working-age adults had narrowed, but in recent years it widened again.
The increased poverty rate for single men from 2010-13 through to 2012-15 is due to an unusually high poverty rate in the sample in one of the years, and might not entirely reflect a genuine increase.
Chart 14. Relative poverty rates higher for single female pensioners than male
In 2015-18, 19% of single female pensioners (60,000 each year) and 13% of single male pensioners (10,000) were in relative poverty after housing costs. In most years, the poverty rate after housing costs for single female pensioners had been higher than that for single male pensioners, with this gap widening since 2011-14
Some of the difference in pensioner poverty between genders may be due to different age profiles. For example, in 2015-18, 41% of female single pensioners were aged over 80 compared with 30% of male single pensioners. Older pensioners may have different sources of income which may result in them having lower incomes.
Before housing costs data is available in the associated tables.
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