Single women make up nearly half of lowest income retired households

Nearly half (49 per cent) of retired households in the lowest income group are made up of women living alone, analysis from Just Group has revealed.

The analysis of figures from the Office for National Statistics split households into five groups (quintiles) by annual income and showed that 49 per cent of the 1.7 million households in the bottom quintile, where gross annual income is £12,706, were single women.

In the same quintile, single men made up 18 per cent and the remaining third (33 per cent) was made up of couples or homes with two or more adults, the analysis also revealed.

Additionally, it was shown that the highest income quintile, where gross annual household income was £68,429, was the only income group in which single men had a higher representation than single women, each making up 20 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.

The majority (61 per cent) of the highest income group was made up of households with two or more adults.

Additionally, it was revealed that households with two or more adults was the largest represented group in the top three income quintiles, representing 42 per cent of the third highest income quintile and 53 per cent of the second highest.

Just Group group communications director, Stephen Lowe, commented: “There are about 4.2 million households composed of a single person aged over 65 which is about a million more than 25 years ago.

“Low-income pensioner households are nearly three times more likely to be single women as single men. While the proportion of single male households stays relatively stable at about one in five across all income groups, for single women it falls from nearly half among the lowest income group to about one in five of the highest income group.

“It’s a concern because many household costs such as insurance, utilities and home maintenance are nearly as high for single people as for couples, so the fact so many retirees on the lowest incomes live on their own in their own homes suggests they must be feeling the rising cost of living in their pockets.”

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