Deep and persistent exclusion: Interrogating the idea of the ‘bottom 2.5 percent’

Published: June 2008 Publication Type: Publication

Authors: Beth Watts, Dan Vale

Written as part of the Mapping Needs programme, this paper explores the conceptualization of the ‘bottom 2.5 percent’ – the individuals in the lowest income scale who face deep and persistent exclusion from society. A key question raised in this paper is ‘Who are these people and why are they important to examine?’

This paper hopes to utilise the insights of previous and continuing work, but also to extend existing approaches and question the assumptions implicit within them. It lays out some challenges, poses some questions and shares our thoughts as they have so far progressed. It does not provide definitive answers, but aims to stimulate a conversation to inform the Mapping Needs programme, and contribute towards developing new insights into hidden and unmet social needs in Britain.

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