1. Main facts and figures
- on average in the 3 years from 2015/16 to 2017/18, just under a third of households in the UK had a weekly income below £400, and just over a third had a weekly income over £800 (before tax)
- Black households were most likely out of all ethnic groups to have a weekly income of less than £400, and Indian households most likely to have a weekly income of £1000 or more
The ethnic categories used in this data
The Family Resources Survey uses the following ethnic categories:
- Other Asian
Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
- White British
- White Other (White ethnic minorities)
Other ethnic group
2. By ethnicity
|Ethnicity||Up to £99||£100 to £199||£200 to £299||£300 to £399||£400 to £499||£500 to £599||£600 to £699||£700 to £799||£800 to £899||£900 to £999||£1000 or above|
The Family Resources Survey (FRS) is a continuous household survey which collects information on a representative sample of private households in the UK. Detailed information is recorded on respondents’ income from all sources:
- housing tenure
- caring needs and responsibilities
- expenditure on housing
- pension scheme participation
- family circumstances
- child maintenance
The survey is conducted in respondents’ homes.
In the latest three-year period, 2015/16 to 2017/18, the FRS sample consisted of almost 60,000 households in the UK.
It has a financial-year survey period with surveys conducted throughout the year and is cross-sectional (a ‘snapshot’ of households over the year). The same individuals are not then approached again (i.e. there is no further ‘wave’ of the survey). Since responses reflect only a sample of the total population, they are weighted on the basis of subnational population totals by age and sex to give estimates for the entire UK household population.
Estimates are subject to sampling error and non-sampling bias. The FRS only covers private households. Therefore, individuals who live in communal accommodation (for example, care homes) or have no fixed address (for example, who are homeless) are not included in these results.
Households where every resident over the age of 16 responds to the questions are classed as fully co-operating. Only households with full co-operation are included in the analysis. This may introduce some error, as the characteristics of individuals living in households which do not respond fully may be different to those who do fully co-operate. Therefore, the sample will be biased towards (that is, more representative of) those who do respond fully. Overall, 52% of households fully co-operated with the survey, meaning there was a sample size of 19,136 households in 2017/18.
Results derived from a low number of responses are more likely to be affected by statistical variation, so observed changes might not reflect real differences. As such, caution is needed when interpreting short-term trends in the data, especially for subgroups (for example, a specific ethnic group, age group and gender). Using a 3-year average for income minimises the risks due to uncertainty to an extent. As the data is presented as a 3-year average, no statistical tests have been performed to determine whether the estimates taken from the survey are statistically significantly different from one another.
In other words, as the results are based on a sample of the population, without further testing it isn’t possible to determine whether any differences observed would likely be seen across the entire population. This is important to consider and means that conclusions around differences between groups cannot be drawn. However, the data is still useful because it indicates where differences between ethnic groups might exist.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
Any values based on fewer than 100 responses have been suppressed.
Percentages are given to the nearest whole percentage point. Due to this rounding, some figures may not add up to 100.
4. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Department for Work and Pensions
Purpose of data source
The main purpose of the Family Resources Survey (FRS) is to give the Department for Work and Pensions 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.
5. Download the data
Measure, Time, Time_Type, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_Type, Value, Value_type, Denominator
6. Related content
Pakistani households were the most likely to fall into the lowest 2 income groups in the 3 years to March 2018.
Average hourly pay
People from the Indian ethnic group had the highest average hourly pay in 2017 (£13.14).
Sources of household income
Households in the Indian and Other White ethnic groups received around three-quarters of their income from employment in the 3 years to March 2018.