State support

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • in the 3 years to March 2020, 52% of families in the UK received a type of state support, such as the State Pension or Child Benefit
  • White British families were the most likely to receive state support, and families from the Chinese ethnic group were the least likely to
  • White British families (51%) were the most likely to receive non-income related benefits, such as the State Pension
  • families from the Bangladeshi (26%) and Black (23%) ethnic groups were the most likely to receive income-related benefits, such as help with the cost of housing
  • the percentage of families getting state support went down for every ethnic group in the time period covered by this data

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data measures the financial support that families receive from the state, by ethnicity.

A family is defined as a single adult or a married or cohabiting couple, plus any dependent children. The figures include families of all ages, including pensioners.

Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number, so some figures may not add up to 100.

Not included in the data

The data does not include:

  • people who live in communal accommodation (for example, care homes)
  • people with no fixed address (for example, homeless people)

Percentages of less than 0.5% before rounding have been suppressed.

The ethnic groups used in the data

The data uses the ethnic categories from the 2011 Census.

Because of differences in the way ethnicity data is collected in the UK, data is aggregated for each of the Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups, which means estimates are shown for these groups as a whole. Data is shown separately for White British people and all other White people (‘White Other’ ethnic group).

Some households contain people from different ethnic backgrounds. The ethnicity assigned to the household is that of the head of the household (usually the person with the highest income). The data does not account for people of different ethnic backgrounds who live in the same household.

Methodology

Read the detailed methodology document for this data.

Because the data varies from year to year, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) takes 3 years’ worth of data and works out the average for that period. This is to make sure there are enough survey respondents to be able to make reliable generalisations. You can find out more about combining multiple years of data to create reliable estimates.

Responses are weighted on the basis of regional population totals by age and sex to give estimates for the entire UK household population. You can read more about how weighting is used to make survey data more representative of the group it is about.

The figures on this page are based on survey data. Find out more about interpreting survey data, including how reliability is affected by the number of people surveyed.

3. By ethnicity and type of support

Percentage of families receiving state support, by ethnicity and type of support
Ethnicity Any state support Any tax credits Any income-related benefit Any non-income-related benefit
% % % %
All 52 7 16 49
Asian 43 13 14 40
Bangladeshi 49 23 26 45
Chinese 26 5 9 22
Indian 39 6 9 37
Pakistani 51 22 18 47
Asian other 43 12 17 37
Black 49 14 23 44
Mixed 39 9 20 34
White 53 6 16 50
White British 54 6 16 51
White other 35 8 10 33
Other 40 12 19 36

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and type of support’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and type of support’ (CSV)

Summary of State support By ethnicity and type of support Summary

The data shows that, in the 3 years to March 2020:

  • on average, 52% of families received a type of state support
  • White British families (54%) were the most likely out of all ethnic groups to receive state support – families from the Chinese ethnic group (26%) were the least likely to
  • families from the Bangladeshi (23%) and Pakistani (22%) ethnic groups were the most likely to receive a tax credit – families from the Chinese ethnic group (5%) were the least likely to
  • families from the Bangladeshi ethnic group (26%) were the most likely to receive an income-related benefit – families from the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups (both 9%) were the least likely to
  • White British families (51%) were the most likely to receive a non-income related benefit, including the State Pension – families from the Chinese ethnic group (22%) were the least likely to
  • on average, all families were more likely to receive a non-income related benefit (49%) than an income-related benefit (16%) or a tax credit (7%)

4. By ethnicity over time

Percentage of families receiving state support by ethnicity over time
Ethnicity 2009/10-2011/12 2010/11-2012/13 2011/12-2013/14 2012/13-2014/15 2013/14-2015/16 2014/15-2016/17 2015/16-2017/18 2016/17-2018/19 2017/18-2019/20
% % % % % % % % %
All 62 61 60 58 57 56 55 53 52
Asian 49 50 50 49 48 47 46 45 43
Bangladeshi 53 52 59 55 56 56 54 49 49
Chinese 29 29 31 30 30 32 33 31 26
Indian 48 48 48 47 46 45 43 41 39
Pakistani 56 59 57 57 53 53 52 51 51
Asian other 48 51 49 49 44 45 47 47 43
Black 58 60 59 58 54 55 53 53 49
Mixed 49 47 46 44 45 44 45 42 39
White 63 62 61 59 58 57 56 54 53
White British 64 63 62 60 59 58 57 56 54
White other 48 47 46 45 42 39 37 36 35
Other 55 53 52 49 49 44 42 40 40

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)

Summary of State support By ethnicity over time Summary

The data shows that, in the time period covered:

  • on average, the percentage of families receiving state support went down from 62% to 52%
  • the percentage of families receiving state support went down in every ethnic group
  • the biggest decrease was in the Other ethnic group, which went down from an average of 55% in the 3 years to March 2012 to 40% in the 3 years to March 2020
Percentage of families receiving non-income related benefits by ethnicity and type of benefit
Ethnicity Child Benefit State Pension Disability Living Allowance (care component) Disability Living Allowance (mobility component)
% % % %
All 18 24 7 6
Asian 26 9 4 3
Bangladeshi 34 6 8 4
Chinese 13 7 1 ~0
Indian 20 12 3 2
Pakistani 34 7 6 5
Asian other 27 7 2 2
Black 28 10 6 4
Mixed 21 8 6 4
White 17 26 8 6
White British 17 28 8 6
White other 22 8 3 2
Other 22 8 6 4

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and type of non-income related benefit’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and type of non-income related benefit’ (CSV)

Summary of State support By ethnicity and type of non-income related benefit Summary

Age profiles are helpful in understanding some of these figures – for example, there are more White British people of retirement age, which helps explain why they're more likely to receive the State Pension.

The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) figures include the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which was introduced in 2013. Because of rounding, the figures shown here may not match the sum of published DLA and PIP figures.

The data shows that, in the 3 years to March 2020:

  • an average of 24% of families received the State Pension, 18% received Child Benefit, 7% received the care component of Disability Living Allowance, and 6% the mobility component
  • families from the Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnic groups (both 34%) were the most likely to receive Child Benefit – families from the Chinese (13%) and White British (17%) ethnic groups were the least likely to
  • 28% of White British families received the State Pension – more than twice the percentage of any other ethnic group
  • families from the White British and Bangladeshi ethnic groups (both 8%) were the most likely to receive the care component of the Disability Living Allowance
  • White British families (6%) were also the most likely to receive the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance
Percentage of families receiving income-related benefits by ethnicity and type of benefit
Ethnicity Council Tax Reduction Housing Benefit Income Support Pension Credit
% % % %
All 12 10 1 3
Asian 10 8 1 3
Bangladeshi 19 20 2 3
Chinese 7 6 0 2
Indian 6 4 ~0 3
Pakistani 12 8 2 3
Asian other 13 12 1 2
Black 18 17 2 2
Mixed 14 12 3 2
White 11 10 1 3
White British 12 10 2 4
White other 7 7 1 2
Other 14 15 2 2

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and type of income-related benefit’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and type of income-related benefit’ (CSV)

Summary of State support By ethnicity and type of income-related benefit Summary

The data shows that, in the 3 years to March 2020:

  • an average of 12% of families received Council Tax Reduction, 10% received Housing Benefit, 3% received Pension Credit, and 1% received Income Support
  • families from the Bangladeshi and Black ethnic groups were the most likely out of all ethnic groups to receive Council Tax Reduction (19% and 18%) and Housing Benefit (20% and 17%)
  • families from the Indian ethnic group were the least likely to receive Council Tax Reduction (6%) and Housing Benefit (4%)
  • families from the Mixed ethnic group were the most likely to receive Income Support (3%)
  • White British families were the most likely to receive Pension Credit (4%)

7. By ethnicity (tax credits only)

Percentage of families receiving tax credits by ethnicity and type of tax credit
Ethnicity Child Tax Credit Working Tax Credit
% %
All 7 4
Asian 13 8
Bangladeshi 22 16
Chinese 4 2
Indian 6 4
Pakistani 21 13
Asian other 12 8
Black 13 8
Mixed 9 4
White 6 3
White British 6 3
White other 7 4
Other 12 8

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity (tax credits only)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity (tax credits only)’ (CSV)

Summary of State support By ethnicity (tax credits only) Summary

The data shows that, in the 3 years to March 2020:

  • an average of 7% of families received Child Tax Credit, and 4% received Working Tax Credit
  • families from the Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnic groups were the most likely to receive both Child Tax Credit (22% and 21%) and Working Tax Credit (16% and 13%)
  • families from the Chinese ethnic group were the least likely to receive both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit (4% and 2%)

8. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Department for Work and Pensions

Note on corrections or updates

The figures for the share of income in the download file before the year ending March 2015 may not match the DWP’s published figures. This is because the way of adjusting for inflation changed from the Retail Price Index to the Consumer Price Index from the year ending March 2015 onwards.

Before 2019 to 2020, respondents from the Irish Travellers (NI) ethnic group in Northern Ireland were included in the White Other ethnic group. From 2019 to 2020, the reporting of this ethnic group was changed for all years presented to harmonise with published figures for the Family Resources Survey and Households Below Average Income, and the ONS harmonised output guidance. Irish Travellers (NI) ethnic group responses in Northern Ireland are now included in Other ethnic group.

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The main purpose of the Family Resources Survey (FRS) is to give the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) data to develop, monitor and evaluate social welfare policy.

The survey is also used by other government departments, including for tax and benefit policy modelling by HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs. The FRS is also used extensively by academics and research institutes for social and economic research.

9. Download the data

State support (2021) - Spreadsheet (csv) 332 KB

This file contains the following: measure, time, ethnicity of head of household, ethnicity_type, geography, value and denominator