Rural England

Out-of-work benefit recipients

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

Working-age

  • The proportion of working-age adults who are in receipt of out-of-work benefits is much lower in rural districts than in urban districts: around 11% compared to 15%.
  • Within these overall totals, the proportions for each of the major constituent groups are also lower in rural districts than in urban districts: sick or disabled people (5½% compared with 7%), the unemployed (3% compared with 4½%) and lone parents (1% compared with 2%).
  • As in urban districts, around half of the claimants in rural districts are sick or disabled.
  • As in urban districts, the number of working-age recipients of out-of-work benefits in rural districts rose sharply in the three years to February 2011, back to roughly the levels of a decade ago.  Note that all of this rise was in unemployed claimants rather than sick or disabled people or lone parents.
  • The differences between rural and urban districts for out-of-work benefits are very different from those for in-work benefits (i.e. tax credits).  See the indicator on tax credits.
  • See the UK indicator on receipt of out-of-work benefits.

Pensionable age

  • The proportion of pensioners who are in receipt of means-tested benefits (i.e. the guaranteed element of Pension Credit) is much lower in rural districts than in urban districts: around 11½% compared to 18%.
  • As in urban districts, the number of pensioners in receipt of means-tested benefits has risen over the last decade.  This is due to the introduction of Pension Credit, which covers more people than its predecessors.

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

Type of district Working-age adults in receipt of key of-of-work benefits
Sick or disabled Unemployed Lone parents Other Total
'Very rural' districts7 6 5 8 7
'Mostly rural' districts8 6 6 9 7
'Part rural' districts8 7 6 8 7

Graph 2

Type of district Working-age adults in receipt of key of-of-work benefits
February 2001February 2008 February 2011
'Very rural' districts6 6 7
'Mostly rural' districts7 7 7
'Part rural' districts7 7 7

Graph 3

Type of districtPeople aged 60 and over in receipt of the guaranteed part of Pension Credit
February 2001 February 2011
'Very rural' districts6 6
'Mostly rural' districts7 6
'Part rural' districts7 7

Definitions and data sources

The graphs

For each type of local authority district, the first graph shows the proportion of working-age people claiming one or more ‘key out-of-work benefits’, with the data divided between the major groups of claimant.  ‘Key out-of-work benefits’ is a DWP term which covers the following benefits: Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Carer’s Allowance.  Note that this list is slightly different from ‘key benefits’, which also include Disability Living Allowance.

For each type of local authority district, the second graph shows how the proportion of working-age people claiming one or more ‘key out-of-work benefits’ in February 2010 compares with that in both February 2008 (because of the increases since then) and February 2000 (the earliest year for which equivalent data exists).

For each type of local authority district, the third graph shows the number of people in receipt of the guaranteed part of Pension Credit as a proportion of all people aged 60 and over, comparing the latest year with February 2000.

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.

Source

DWP Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study; the data is for February 2000, February 2008 and February 2009.

The numbers

Graphs 1

Type of district Working-age adults in receipt of key of-of-work benefits
Sick or disabled Unemployed Lone parents Other Total
'Very rural' districts160,000 5.2% 70,000 2.4% 30,000 1.0% 50,000 1.5% 310,000 10.1%
'Mostly rural' districts240,000 5.7% 120,000 2.8% 50,000 1.1% 70,000 1.6% 470,000 11.2%
'Part rural' districts230,000 5.6% 130,000 3.0% 50,000 1.2% 60,000 1.5% 480,000 11.3%
Urban districts1,480,000 7.1% 900,000 4.4% 400,000 1.9% 370,000 1.8% 3,150,000 15.2%

Graph 2

Type of districtWorking-age adults in receipt of key of-of-work benefits
February 2001February 2008 February 2011
'Very rural' districts 290,000 9.7% 270,000 8.7% 310,000 10.1%
'Mostly rural' districts 450,000 10.9% 420,000 9.8% 470,000 11.2%
'Part rural' districts 440,000 10.9% 410,000 9.8% 480,000 11.3%
Urban districts 3,050,000 15.9% 2,820,000 14.0% 3,150,000 15.2%

Graph 3

Type of districtPeople aged 60 and over in receipt of the guaranteed part of Pension Credit
February 2001February 2011
'Very rural' districts120,000 9.8% 170,000 10.8%
'Mostly rural' districts170,000 10.4% 220,000 11.4%
'Part rural' districts160,000 10.8% 290,000 11.8%
Urban districts950,000 16.0% 1,180,000 18.1%