It is clear that the last two and a half decades have witnessed substantial increases in the spatial segregation and concentration of poverty and wealth in Britain. The overall decline and slight spatial deconcentration in core poor households in the 1990s are hopeful signs. However, the 1990s also saw relative poverty levels climb to unprecedented levels of more than one in four households by 2000, and for the first time there were some areas where more than half of all households were poor. Wealthy households have become more segregated, and increasingly concentrated in the south east of England.
Data for the years since 2000 present a mixed picture of what has happened more recently. Only with the release of a comprehensive census in 2011, especially one that allows us to more effectively measure wealth or even asks for income directly, will we be able to discover whether this first decade of the new millennium has seen Britain become a geographically, socially and economically fairer place in which to live.
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