- 1. Navigate toMain facts and figures section
- 2. Navigate toThings you need to know section
- 3. Navigate to By ethnicity and type of support section
- 4. Navigate to By ethnicity over time section
- 5. Navigate to By ethnicity and type of non-income related benefit section
- 6. Navigate to By ethnicity and type of income-related benefit section
- 7. Navigate to By ethnicity (tax credits only) section
- 8. Navigate toData sources section
- 9. Navigate toDownload the data section
1. Main facts and figures
51% of families in the UK received a type of state support, such as the State Pension or Child Benefit, in the 3 years to March 2021
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 and black ethnic groups (both 24%) 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 the white British group and all other white groups combined (‘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.
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
|Ethnicity||Any state support||Any tax credits||Any income-related benefit||Any non-income-related benefit|
Summary of State support By ethnicity and type of support Summary
4. By ethnicity over time
Summary of State support By ethnicity over time Summary
5. By ethnicity and type of non-income related benefit
|Ethnicity||Child Benefit||State Pension||Disability Living Allowance (care component)||Disability Living Allowance (mobility component)|
Summary of State support By ethnicity and type of non-income related benefit Summary
6. By ethnicity and type of income-related benefit
|Ethnicity||Council Tax Reduction||Housing Benefit||Income Support||Pension Credit|
Summary of State support By ethnicity and type of income-related benefit Summary
7. By ethnicity (tax credits only)
|Ethnicity||Child Tax Credit||Working Tax Credit|
Summary of State support By ethnicity (tax credits only) Summary
8. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
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.
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
This file contains the following: measure, time, ethnicity of head of household, ethnicity_type, geography, value, value_type and denominator