The Social Metrics Commission is an independent Commission formed to develop a new approach to poverty measurement that both better reflects the nature and experiences of poverty that different families in the UK have, and can be used to build a consensus around poverty measurement and action in the UK.

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Meet the commissioners

Social Metrics Report 2018

The Social Metrics Commission's Poverty Measure was published on 17th September 2018.

This report marks the culmination of two years of sustained work. It outlines a new approach to poverty measurement for the UK and provides original analysis that demonstrates the fundamental changes to our understanding of poverty it creates. Most importantly, the approach, results and recommendations in this report are supported by every Commissioner. They truly represent a consensus view of how we should measure and understand the incidence of poverty in the UK and the experiences of those who are in poverty.

Press Release

The Government has today announced that it will begin the process of developing an experimental statistic based on the measure of poverty developed by the Social Metrics Commission. This is the process that all statistics need to go through before they become official national statistics.

The need for this is clear, as there is significant debate about how poverty can be measured. As such, the SMC’s mission has been to provide a new consensus around poverty measurement that enables action, informs policy making and so seeks to improve the lives of people in poverty.

After three years of research, development and engagement with a wide range of stakeholders, the Commission launched is proposal for a new poverty measure in September 2018.

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Press Release

We are delighted to announce that the Social Metrics Commission has met the high standards for statistical rigour set out in the UK Statistic’s Authority Code of Practice.

The Commission is fully committed to adhering to the highest standards for analysis possible, and to ensuring that our new measure offers the most accurate picture of poverty in the UK. The SMC is amongst the first non-government bodies to voluntarily comply with the Authority’s Code of Practice, the current threshold applied to the government’s own official statistics

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Key statistics

14.2 million people in poverty in the UK (2016/17), comprised of:

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Notes: For certain sub-national samples (Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), averages have been taken across three years to generate a sufficient sample size. Where the sample size was not large enough, these results are missing.

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About the Social Metrics Commission

The Social Metrics Commission was brought together to develop a new approach to poverty measurement that both better reflects the nature and experiences of poverty that different families in the UK have, and can be used to build a consensus around poverty measurement and action in the UK.

The Social Metrics Commission is an independent Commission formed and led by the Legatum Institute’s CEO Baroness Stroud.

The Social Metrics Commission is an independent and rigorously non-partisan organisation dedicated to helping policy makers and the public understand and take action to tackle poverty. Its ultimate goal has been to develop new poverty metrics for the UK which will have both long-term political support and effectively identify those who are in poverty. By doing so, we hope that Government and others will be better able to develop interventions that reduce the number of people experiencing poverty and improve outcomes for those people who do experience it.