New monitor reveals stark realities of poverty in Greater Manchester

December 10, 2014 by Deborah Linton, University of Manchester

The Greater Manchester monitor, created by academics at Manchester, measures levels of poverty across the city region and tells what life is like for residents living below the poverty line.

The harsh realities of life for Greater Manchester's poorest households are tracked in a new monitor created by academics at The University of Manchester and published by the Greater Manchester Poverty Action Group (GMPAG) today.

The Greater Manchester Poverty monitor brings together data from 18 different sources for the first time, to paint a picture of life for residents - including more than one in four children - living in poverty in Greater Manchester.

Produced by experts at the University and available to the public on the Greater Manchester Poverty Action Group (GMPAG) website from Wednesday 10 December, the monitor includes a set of interactive charts and maps and is accompanied by a report detailing experiences of poverty from the perspectives of those affected by it.

The work finds that, on a number of key indicators, the city region lags behind both the North West and England. The evidence also questions traditional beliefs that a job is the quickest route out of poverty, with data showing that in-work poverty is a major problem in parts of the region and efforts to boost are not being felt evenly across the ten Greater Manchester local authorities.

Key findings brought together in the monitor include:

  • Across Greater Manchester local authorities, more than 1 in 4 children, on average, living in poverty in 2013, including 39.3% of children in the city of Manchester.
  • 22.6% of households in Greater Manchester claimed housing benefit compared with 19% in England as a whole.
  • 9% of the city region's economically active were unemployed, 3% higher than in 2007.
  • 12.1% of Job Seekers Allowance claimants were sanctioned in April 2014, compared with 8.8% nationally.
  • Of the ten Greater Manchester authorities, Oldham (18.1%) and Rochdale (18%) had the highest share of working households on low income in 2012.
  • Even as the economy started to pick up nationally during 2013, three local authorities – Wigan, Salford and Bolton – saw unemployment rise.

Prof Ruth Lupton, of The University of Manchester, said: "The University of Manchester has a strong commitment to addressing poverty and inequality and making a difference in our city region. We hope that making information about poverty more accessible will ensure that these problems stay at the top of everyone's agenda."

Neil McInroy, chair of the GMPAG said: "Poverty is a scourge and this new monitor and accompanying research tells us it's not going away. Indeed in some aspects it is getting worse. Some of this is down to central government cuts, but all of us across the public, private and social sectors in Greater Manchester can do more.

"Local leaders must make sure that economic growth and job creation are specifically designed to help those living in poverty in the region. We know that the link between economic growth and rising living standards is broken, so we need to do more than just create economic growth for its own sake. We'd like to see a greater emphasis on poverty across Greater Manchester, with the Combined Authority upping the ante on and challenging central government for more powers and resources to tackle it."

Explore further: Child poverty pervasive in large American cities, new report shows

More information: The monitor, and accompanying report, can be viewed here from Wednesday 10 December.

Related Stories

Third of looters were 'from deprived areas'

March 2, 2012

Nearly a third of UK looters punished for taking part in the Manchester and Salford riots came from areas with high levels of social deprivation, an academic has found.

Ethnically diverse neighbourhoods 'safer'

April 10, 2014

Residents of ethnically diverse neighbourhoods can expect to experience fewer assaults than residents of neighbourhoods with little or no ethnic diversity, according to a new way of measuring violence.

Health issues highlighted in Child Poverty Monitor

December 2, 2014

Although the just released second annual Child Poverty Monitor has revealed a small decrease in the number of New Zealand children living in income poverty, researchers involved in its preparation say there is still much ...

Recommended for you

Paleontologists report world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex

March 22, 2019

University of Alberta paleontologists have just reported the world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex and the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Canada. The 13-metre-long T. rex, nicknamed "Scotty," lived in prehistoric Saskatchewan ...

NASA instruments image fireball over Bering Sea

March 22, 2019

On Dec. 18, 2018, a large "fireball—the term used for exceptionally bright meteors that are visible over a wide area—exploded about 16 miles (26 kilometers) above the Bering Sea. The explosion unleashed an estimated 173 ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.