HC Deb 16 December 1999 vol 341 cc269-70W
Dr. Harris

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what the change in average income has been since 1997; how the real income after housing costs of(a) the poorest 10 per cent. and (b) the richest 10 per cent. in the UK have changed since 1997; and what was the average income for (i) men and (ii) women in each year since 1997. [102890]

Mr. Bayley

The latest available information is published in "Households Below Average Income" (HBAI) and relates to 1997–98 for Great Britain. In that year, mean income Before Housing Costs was £318 per week (in April 1999 prices), £277 After Housing Costs.

Median net equivalised household income of the bottom 10 per cent. of individuals, After Housing Costs, was £71 per week, and of the top 10 per cent. was £600 per week.

HBAI assumes that both partners in a couple benefit equally from the household income, and as a result both partners will appear at the same position in the income distribution. On that basis, mean net equivalised household income for men was £301 per week, and for women was £279 per week.

The Department's statisticians hope to publish the next edition of HBAI, providing information for 1998–99, in the summer of 2000.


  1. 1. All estimates are subject to sampling error.
  2. 2. The HBAI income measure is weekly net (disposable) equivalised household income (that is to say, income that is adjusted to reflect the size and composition of the household).
  3. 3. Figures for the bottom 10 per cent. should be treated with caution, as evidence suggests that those in the bottom decile do not necessarily have the lowest living standards.