Britain’s Black and minority ethnic community being disproportionately affected by coronavirus’ health, economic impacts
Almost half of Black and minority ethnic households in the UK were living in poverty, and minority households were almost twice as likely to live in poverty than white households, according to a new report released on Wednesday.
The report by the Social Metrics Commission (SMC) measures poverty in the UK. They surveyed 80,000 adults between March 25 and May 18. The poverty line in the UK is 60% of the national median income.
The commission warned that Britain’s Black and minority ethnic community, already disproportionately affected by the health consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, are also being disproportionately affected by its economic consequences.
The report found that 46% of families where the head of the household was Black were in poverty, while the same was true for only 19% of white families.
The minority families were also between twice and three times as likely to be in “persistent” poverty than white families. 10% of minority adults were unemployed, compared to 4% of white adults.
The report found that there were 14.4 million Brits in poverty in 2018-2019, 4.5 million of whom were children.
Around 4.5 million Brits were in “deep poverty,” defined as those living 50% below the breadline, and 7.1 million were in “persistent poverty,” defined as having lived below the breadline for two of the last three years.
The report found that 65% of people in deep poverty before the pandemic have suffered either reduced incomes or job losses.
Looking at poverty more broadly in the UK, half of all people in poverty lived in families that had at least one disabled person. Precarious employment also played its part, with 68% of working-age adults in families where at least one person was in part-time work. Just over 10% of pensioners were in poverty, too.