§ Mr. Woodward
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many(a) families and (b) ethnic minority families are living on below half-average income. 
§ Mr. Bayley
The information is in the table.
Number of families and ethnic minority families below half average income 1997–98 Millions BHC AHC Including the self-employed Families 5.2 7.1 Ethnic minority families 0.5 0.8 Excluding the self-employed Families 4.3 6.1 Ethnic minority families 0.4 0.7
1. The latest information available is for 1997–98 derived from Households Below Average Income (HBAI) data. The 1979–96/7 HBAI publication presents estimates of the income distribution of individuals by ethnic group. A copy of this is in the Library.
2. The definition used of a family is a single adult or a couple, together with any dependent children. A family is defined as ethnic minority if the head of the family is non-White.
3. The HBAI estimates for 1997–98 are taken from the Family Resources Survey and relate to Great Britain. All estimates are subject to sampling error
4. The figures are presented on household income both Before Housing Costs (BHC) and After Housing Costs (AHC) in line with HBAI conventions. Figures are also provided including and excluding the self-employed reflecting concerns over the accuracy of income information for the self-employed at the bottom of the income distribution.