Rowntree Revisited: Poverty in Britain in 1900

Gazeley, Ian and Newell, Andrew (2000) Rowntree Revisited: Poverty in Britain in 1900. Explorations in Economic History, 37 (2). pp. 174-188. ISSN 0014-4983

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We examine Rowntree's 1900 primary poverty line methodology and suggest that he incorporated assumptions about the needs of children and the extent of scale economies that lead him to overestimate the numbers in primary poverty. We modify Rowntree's primary poverty line using evidence from a contemporaneous household expenditure survey. The results suggest that the primary poverty head-count in York was considerably lower, at 5 to 6% of the population compared to Rowntree's 10%. Taken in conjunction with Feinstein's study of wages, this weakens the evidence for widespread poverty in Britain at the turn of the last century.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Depositing User: Ian Gazeley
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:46
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2012 21:44
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