Income dynamics: income movements and the persistence of low incomes – data for 2010-2015

Publication type



Publication date

March 15, 2017


Income Dynamics provides estimates of the likelihood of the same people being persistently in low income in at least 3 out of 4 years and of mobility across the income distribution.

It does this using a survey which follows respondents over time. This is unlike the survey underlying the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series, which looks at the distribution of incomes with different samples each year.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) previously published low income dynamics statistics based on the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). The final release was published on 23 September 2010.

The BHPS has now been subsumed into the Understanding Society survey, a longitudinal study about life in the UK and how it’s changing. This survey now forms the basis for Income Dynamics.

The Income Dynamics (ID) report presents information on changes in income over time. The main results relate to the persistence of relative low incomes. Individuals are described as being in persistent low income if they are in relative low income in at least three out of four consecutive annual interviews.




Referenced by: Understanding Society (2018) ‘Written evidence from Understanding Society the UK Household Longitudinal Study (WSN0051) [Work and Pensions Select Committee. Welfare safety net inquiry]’. London: Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Work and Pensions Select Committee.

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