State support

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • in the 3 years to March 2019, 53% of families in the UK received some type of state support, such as the State Pension or Child Benefit
  • White British families were the most likely to receive state support and Chinese families were the least likely to
  • White British families were also the most likely to receive non-income related benefits, such as the State Pension
  • families from the Bangladeshi and Black ethnic groups were the most likely to receive income-related benefits, such as help with the cost of housing
  • since March 2009, the percentage of families getting state support has fallen for all ethnic groups except the Chinese and Asian Other groups, for which it has remained broadly stable

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 given to the nearest whole number. Due to this rounding, 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)

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 (PDF opens in a new window or tab) 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 53 9 17 50
Asian 45 15 16 41
Bangladeshi 49 25 30 46
Chinese 31 6 11 26
Indian 41 7 8 38
Pakistani 51 23 20 46
Asian other 47 16 18 41
Black 53 16 28 45
Mixed 42 13 21 37
White 54 8 16 51
White British 56 8 17 53
White other 36 9 11 34
Other 40 13 18 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 2019:

  • on average, 53% of families received some kind of state support
  • White British families (56%) were the most likely out of all ethnic groups to receive state support – families from the Chinese ethnic group (31%) were the least likely to
  • families from the Bangladeshi ethnic group were the most likely to receive a tax credit (25%) or income-related benefit (30%) – families from the Chinese ethnic group were the least likely (6% and 11%)
  • White British families were the most likely to receive a non-income related benefit, including the State Pension (53%) – families from the Chinese ethnic group were the least likely to (26%)
  • on average, all families were more likely to receive a non-income related benefit (50%) than an income-related benefit (17%) or a tax credit (9%)

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
% % % % % % % %
All 62 61 60 58 57 56 55 53
Asian 49 50 50 49 48 47 46 45
Bangladeshi 53 52 59 55 56 56 54 49
Chinese 29 29 31 30 30 32 33 31
Indian 48 48 48 47 46 45 43 41
Pakistani 56 59 57 57 53 53 52 51
Asian other 48 51 49 49 44 45 47 47
Black 58 60 59 58 54 55 53 53
Mixed 49 47 46 44 45 44 45 42
White 63 62 61 59 58 57 56 54
White British 64 63 62 60 59 58 57 56
White other 48 47 46 45 42 39 37 36
Other 55 53 52 49 49 44 42 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 by this data:

  • on average, the percentage of families receiving state support went down from 62% to 53%
  • the percentage of families receiving state support within the Chinese ethnic group went up from 29% to 31%
  • all other ethnic groups saw a fall in the percentage of families receiving state support
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 19 24 8 6
Asian 27 9 5 3
Bangladeshi 33 7 8 4
Chinese 16 8 1 withheld to protect confidentiality
Indian 21 12 4 2
Pakistani 33 6 7 5
Asian other 29 7 2 2
Black 29 11 6 4
Mixed 23 7 6 4
White 18 27 8 6
White British 17 28 8 7
White other 22 8 3 2
Other 23 7 6 5

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 2019:

  • an average of 24% of families received the State Pension, 19% received Child Benefit, 8% received the care component of Disability Living Allowance, and 6% the mobility component
  • out of all ethnic groups, families from the Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnic groups were the most likely to receive Child Benefit (33%)
  • families from the Chinese (16%) and White British (17%) ethnic groups were the least likely to receive Child Benefit
  • 28% of White British families received the State Pension – more than twice the percentage of any other ethnic group
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 11 2 3
Asian 11 10 2 2
Bangladeshi 21 23 4 2
Chinese 9 6 withheld to protect confidentiality 2
Indian 6 4 1 3
Pakistani 13 11 3 2
Asian other 12 14 1 1
Black 20 22 3 2
Mixed 14 15 4 1
White 12 11 2 4
White British 12 11 2 4
White other 7 8 1 2
Other 13 15 2 1

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 2019:

  • an average of 12% of families received Council Tax Reduction, 11% received Housing Benefit, 3% received Pension Credit, and 2% 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 (21% and 20%) and Housing Benefit (23% and 22%)
  • families from Indian (6%) and White Other (7%) ethnic groups were the least likely to receive Council Tax Reduction
  • families from the Chinese (6%) and Indian (4%) ethnic groups were the least likely to receive Housing Benefit

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 8 4
Asian 14 9
Bangladeshi 24 15
Chinese 5 3
Indian 7 4
Pakistani 22 14
Asian other 14 9
Black 16 9
Mixed 13 5
White 7 4
White British 7 4
White other 9 5
Other 13 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 2019:

  • an average of 8% of families received Child Tax Credit, and 4% received Working Tax Credit
  • families in the Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnic groups were the most likely to receive both Child Tax Credit (24% and 22%) and Working Tax Credit (15% and 14%)
  • families from the Chinese, Indian and White British ethnic groups were the least likely to receive both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit

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.

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 data - Spreadsheet (csv) 394 KB

This file contains the following: measure, ethnicity, year, value, denominator