Financial Vulnerability in the United Kingdom: From Brexit to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Brief

Financial Vulnerability in the United Kingdom: From Brexit to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Abstract

This brief provides new insights about the ability of UK families to manage daily finances and buffer against economic shocks. We developed an index that measures the overall extent of household financial vulnerability in the UK and its individual nations, regions, and parliamentary constituencies. We present our Financial Vulnerability Index findings from the third quarter of 2017 through to the second quarter of 2020, a three-year period covering the Brexit transition and the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that households in North East England are consistently more likely to be financially vulnerable than any other UK region or nation over the reported time period. In contrast, households in South East England are the least vulnerable. Blackpool South, Liverpool Walton, and Middlesbrough are the three most financially vulnerable constituencies in the second quarter of 2020. Finally, we describe a rapid increase in financial distress during the COVID-19 pandemic across all UK nations and regions, with households in London experiencing the highest relative increase in financial vulnerability.

Research Area: 

Cross-Center Initiative

Cross-Center Initiative: 
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