The Big Poverty Picture

Welcome to the part of Project Twist-It where experts in the field of poverty help explain some of the big issues at play and how this relates to perceptions of poverty. Throughout the course of the project we'll upload video, audio, Q & A's or content of another kind that adds to our understanding of the structural causes of poverty, explores key trends, assesses the impact of rhetoric and policy, and analyses the alternatives. 

Poverty in Britain & America

Some Important Things to Know 

Project Twist-It is first and foremost about stories but facts, figures and context really matter too. So, here are some snapshot summaries that you might find informative. And, should you want to know more, we've provided links to take you to some of the latest data and research.

You can also visit our 'Big Poverty Picture' page on this site to learn more about the wider issues from our community of experts.

POVERTY IN THE UK

14 MILLION PEOPLE

IN THE UK

LIVE IN POVERTY

 

8 MILLION PEOPLE LIVING

IN POVERTY ARE IN

FAMILIES WHERE AT

LEAST ONE PERSON IS

IN WORK

POVERTY IN THE US

40.6 MILLION PEOPLE

FELL BELOW

THE POVERTY LINE IN

THE US IN 2016

 

THAT'S 12.7% OF THE

POPULATION

 

latest expert view interview: Kate Walz

Vice President of advocacy: sargent Shriver National center on poverty law

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 Mark Blyth

Mark Blyth

Kate Walz from the Sargent Shriver National Centre on Poverty Law talks to Project Twist-It about the systemic underpinnings of the dominant poverty narrative in America. Drawing on her wealth of experience in anti-poverty advocacy she explains how the narrative marginalises poorer people and impedes their capacity to progress.

Mark Blyth is Professor of International Political Economy at Brown. He says: “I grew up in relative poverty, in a very real sense a ‘welfare kid’. Today I’m a professor at an Ivy League university in the USA. Probabilistically speaking, I am as an extreme example of intragenerational social mobility as you can find anywhere.”

He talks to Project Twist-It about how the historical narratives of the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor became ‘turbo-charged’ during the Reagan/Thatcher years and most recently, under austerity.

expert view: interviews

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Karen Dolan, Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC.

In this interview, Karen talks to Project Twist-It about the enduring myths associated with people living in poverty or struggling to get by in America.


Prof Danny Dorling

Danny Dorling, Professor of Geography, University of Oxford

In this short video Danny dissects why Britain and America are unique among the rich nations of the world when it comes to poverty. He also explains why we can be hopeful that positive change will come. 

 
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Rebecca Vallas, Vice President, Poverty to Prosperity Programme, Center for American Progress, Washington DC

Listen as Rebecca, a long-standing US poverty expert, explains the intersection between rhetoric directed at people struggling to get by and the reality of life on the breadline in contemporary America. 

 
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Sarah Anderson, Co-Editor, Inequality.Org and a director at the Institute for Policy Studies, Washington DC

Take just a few minutes to hear Sarah's eye-opening summary of some of the most important misconceptions around poverty in today's America. 

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Tim Molina, Political Director, Courage Campaign, California

With his Courage Campaign hat on Tim explains why achieving the American Dream is out of reach for so many. Even in California which, as of May 2018, became the world's 5th largest economy - ahead of the UK. 

 
 

Jacqui Roberts, CEO, Shoreditch Trust, London

As part of an organisation rooted in its community Shoreditch Trust works with people across Hackney. CEO Jacqui Roberts tells Project Twist-It about the role grassroots organisations can play in changing the poverty narrative.