Hard times

Assessing household incomes since 2010

This briefing note is part of the Resolution Foundation’s ‘Need to Know Election 2024’ series and examines how income growth, poverty and inequality have changed over the last Parliament and since 2010.

At the General Election, living standards growth should be on the agenda for any party wishing to form the next government. This is because income growth since 2009-10 has been particularly low, with typical non-pensioner household incomes growing by just £1,900, or £140 per year. Our income growth has also been weak by international standards: had we experienced the same level of growth in median incomes between 2007 and 2022 as the Netherlands, France and Germany, the UK’s median income in 2022-23 would be £2,700 higher than actually observed. The income growth we have had over this period has been progressive, but less progress has been made on bringing down poverty rates than in previous time periods.  

These findings reinforce previous Resolution Foundation research on the UK’s stagnating economy and high inequality. Whichever party forms the next government must be willing to take steps to boost living standards, so all families in the UK can experience shared growth.