Rural England

Older people with no private income

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • Pensioners in rural districts are much less likely than those in urban districts to rely solely on the state retirement pension and state benefits for their income: around 8% compared with 16%.
  • Nevertheless, almost half of all workers in rural districts do not have a current pension.
  • See the UK indicator on reliance on state retirement pension and benefits.

Rural/urban ratios (urban = 10)

On most poverty and social exclusion indicators, rural areas have ‘better scores’ than urban areas. The purpose of the table below is to differentiate between those subjects where rural areas are ‘a bit better’ and those where rural areas are ‘a lot better’. It does so by presenting the rural statistics for the indicator as a proportion of the urban statistics. So, for example, a rural ‘score’ of 6 in the table below means that the rural statistic is around 60% of its urban equivalent.

Graph 1

'Very rural' districts5
'Mostly rural' districts5
'Part rural' districts5

Graph 2

'Very rural' districts 9
'Mostly rural' districts 9
'Part rural' districts 9

Definitions and data sources

The graphs

For each type of local authority district, the first graph shows the proportion of pensioners with no income other than state retirement pension and state benefits.  Note that the figures exclude all those with any other income even if very small.

For each type of local authority district, the second graph shows the proportion of currently working working-age adults (both employed and self-employed) who do not have a current pension.  A person is deemed to have a current pension if they answered ‘yes’ to either “are you a member of a pension scheme run by your employer?” or “do you have a pension that you have arranged for yourself?” Note that ‘not having a current pension” is not quite the same as ‘not having a pension’ because some people will have a pension from a previous job.

Level of the data

Lower tier local authorities (districts), as classified by the DEFRA 2009 classification system.  Both the DEFRA classification rules and their results by local authority can be found on the page on rural/urban classification systems.


First graph: Households Below Average Income, DWP.  To improve its statistical reliability, the data is the average for latest three years.

Second graph: Family Resources Survey, DWP.  The data is the average for the latest two years only because the equivalent questions asked prior to 2006/07 were somewhat different.  The self-employed are included in the statistics

The numbers

Graphs 1

Type of district Proportion Numbers
'Very rural' districts8% 100,000
'Mostly rural' districts7% 100,000
'Part rural' districts8% 100,000
Urban districts16% 700,000

Graph 2

'Very rural' districts 44%
'Mostly rural' districts 45%
'Part rural' districts 44%
Urban districts 49%