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Household Incomes

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of households in Northern Ireland have weekly incomes of £300 or less, broken down by (a) parliamentary constituency, (b) district council and (c) district electoral area. (99321)

The proportion of households with a weekly income of £300 or less, according to the Northern Ireland Family Resources Survey, by parliamentary constituency is given in Table 2, and by district council is given in Table 1. In order to ensure a sample size that would deliver reliable results, it was necessary to combine three years of the survey. Even with this level of combination, the sample sizes achieved for district electoral areas are too small for reliable results to be given.

The information requested in Part (c) district electoral area is not readily available and can be provided only at disproportionate costs.

Because of the need to combine years, the significance of the £300 income limit for households is not constant due to price inflation and increases in general income over time.

Table 1: Local Government Districts, Proportion of Households with Gross Weekly Income of £300 or Under by LGD1

Local Government District

Percentage

Antrim

31.3

Ards

34.8

Armagh

34.5

Ballymena

35.6

Ballymoney and Moyle2

32.8

Banbridge

24.7

Belfast

45.6

Carrickfergus

26.6

Castlereagh

29.4

Coleraine

38.0

Cookstown

47.7

Craigavon

34.9

Downpatrick

32.3

Dungannon

40.2

Fermanagh

45.5

Larne

35.3

Limavady and Magherafelt2

36.6

Lisburn

32.8

Derry

39.3

Newry

38.3

Newtownabbey

32.0

North Down

26.7

Omagh and Strabane2

46.1

1 In order to ensure a sample size that would deliver reliable results, it was necessary to combine three years of the survey, namely 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2004-05. 2 These councils had to be combined in order to obtain a sample of at least 100 households. Source: Family Resources Survey.

Table 2: Parliamentary Constituencies, Proportion of Households with Gross Weekly Income of £300 or Under by Parliamentary Constituency1

Parliamentary Constituency

Percentage

Belfast East

38.1

Belfast North

54.3

Belfast South

36.3

Belfast West

44.4

East Antrim

31.7

East Londonderry

34.9

Fermanagh and South Tyrone

42.8

Foyle

39.6

Lagan Valley

30.4

Mid Ulster

45.3

Newry and Armagh

37.9

North Antrim

34.5

North Down

26.5

South Antrim

28.0

South Down

31.9

Strangford

34.6

Upper Bann

32.7

West Tyrone

46.1

1 In order to ensure a sample size that would deliver reliable results, it was necessary to combine three years of the survey, namely 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2004-05. Notes:1. The tables are derived from the Northern Ireland Family Resources Survey, which has been carried out in Northern Ireland since 2002-03. A comparable survey has been carried out in Great Britain since 1992-93, and this GB survey has now been expanded into a UK survey, including the Northern Ireland data. 2. The Northern Ireland sample size has been enhanced to allow more detailed analysis. 3. A variety of definitions of household income are available from the survey. Gross income is used here. 4. Three years of the survey are combined to ensure an acceptable sample size. 5. Because three years of the survey have been combined, the significance of the £300 limit for households is not constant, due to price inflation and increases in general income over time. Source: Family Resources Survey.