Dr Lincoln Sargeant’s analysis of poverty from a public health perspective argues that despite the changes that have taken place “there is still a striking similarity between poverty in the past and poverty today – they are still largely due to unemployment and low household income.”

The 2019 Annual Report is called “Life in times of change – health and hardship in North Yorkshire”. It examines the perceptions and reality of poverty in a historic context, from the days of the workhouse through the birth and growth of the welfare state, and identifies those areas of North Yorkshire where the impacts of poverty are seen today.

Poverty, Dr Sargeant states, reduces both the quality and the length of life. Most recent estimates suggest about 92,000 people in North Yorkshire fall into the government’s definition of poverty. Although at 15 per cent of the population this is considerably lower than the England average, it is a poverty that can be hidden from view; where people live with the challenges of poverty among less disadvantaged neighbours. Dr Sargeant notes the “re-emergence of destitution”, the growth in food banks and the rise of in-work poverty.

Dr Sargeant said: “This year, my report explores the relationship between poverty and health and how we might work to reduce the impact for those affected by deprivation in North Yorkshire.

Read more at North Yorkshire County Council