Business

Poverty higher for young than over-65s, report finds

  • 23 November 2015
  • From the section Business
Woman walking in front of child Image copyright Getty Images

More young people are living in poverty in the UK than old people, according to a study.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that 1.7 million people aged 16 to 24 are in poverty compared with 1.4 million people aged over 65.

Chief executive Julia Unwin said the young are being "locked out" of well-paid jobs and affordable homes.

The government said the percentage of all people in poverty is the lowest since the 1980s.

The foundation's annual state-of-the-nation report found 400,000 more 16-24 year olds are living in poverty than a decade ago.

Young people were also four times more likely to be unemployed than the population as a whole, according to the study.

'Worse circumstances'

Ms Unwin said: "The next generation is being condemned to a worse set of circumstances in which to live, work and raise a family."

She urged the government to tackle the causes of poverty among young people as it has done for pensioners.

The study found the number of over-65s in poverty had fallen by 600,000 in the last 10 years, the only age group to see a drop.

A government spokesman said: "The truth is, the percentage of people in the UK in relative poverty is at its lowest since the mid-80s."

He added that 3 million apprenticeships, more free childcare and a new national living wage would help young people.

The foundation is the latest to suggest the young face more difficult economic circumstances than previous generations.

A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) last week said young people were on track to be poorer than their parents at every stage of their lives.

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