Poverty in Wales

Poverty in Wales isn’t about drought, war or starvation – as it can be in developing countries – but it’s every bit as real.

Almost one in four people in Wales lives in poverty which means they get less than 60% of the average wage. That is about 700,000 of our fellow citizens. That level of relative poverty has remained unchanged for decade.

Oxfam’s projects in Wales

The issue

Poverty can mean having no money in your pocket, your children going to school hungry, or to bed without enough food. It can mean not being able to afford a winter coat, or heat your home. But it can also be about living for years without work or hope, cut off from opportunities and change. And people in poor communities have worse health and shorter life expectancy.

That’s why Oxfam works in Wales to overcome poverty, and to tell the truth about it, now and in the long term.

It used to be said that work was the best route out of poverty, but increasingly it isn’t a route out at all.  Half of Welsh households experiencing poverty have someone bringing home a salary.

Gender imbalance remains evident across many areas of life in Wales. 80% of all part time jobs in Wales are held by women, and overwhelmingly they are in low-paid occupations.  If we’re to tackle poverty in Wales, we must also tackle gender imbalance.

But Wales must also be globally responsible. Our carbon emissions are drastically above what they should be for a nation our size. And with the a global refugee crisis, it’s vital that Wales provides a warm welcome to our fair share of refugees and asylum seekers.

You can find out more about these challenges, and our proposed solutions by reading our Blueprint for Change or by watching this short video:

Oxfam Cymru – Even It Up: Blueprint for Change

What we do

  • We campaign. We raise issues and get people to contact those in power to influence their decisions
  • We research. We work with partners to research policy that can tackle poverty and economic inequality at home and abroad
  • We raise voice: We give people experiencing poverty the chance to speak to people in power and have their voices heard
  • We work: our programme work directly tackles poverty in Wales

Find out more about Oxfam’s UK Poverty Programme.