The eradication of ‘poverty in all its forms everywhere’ is the first of the Sustainable Development Goals, the intergovernmental set of aspiration goals agreed upon by 193 countries in 2015 at the United Nations. Extreme poverty is characterised by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and shelter. Relative poverty occurs in all countries and is defined in terms of minimum acceptable standards of living within the society in which a particular person lives. Relative poverty can lead to social exclusion when people do not have sufficient material resources to participate in social, economic, political and cultural life and their relationships with others.

The UK Data Service hosts a number of key collections on the complexities of poverty, living standards and social exclusion ranging from individual life courses to large scale surveys and country-level indicators. Explore our library of impact case studies demonstrating how our data have been used. Find out how to search our catalogue.