Two: Historical poverty and the roots of decline

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This chapter explores the trajectories of poverty in more detail, highlighting the areas of primary deprivation. The decline had started in the 1960s due to the increase of crime and antisocial behaviour, decline in the sense of community, and the loss of shops and services. Underlying these changes were three consistent themes: economic restructuring, resulting in every case in enormous job losses; widening inequality (driven in large part by economic changes); and changes in the size and composition of the population. It is shown that these changes led in an increase in the rate of poverty. Council-housing areas were developing the most entrenched poverty concentrations. By the beginning of the 1990s, poverty concentrations were acute and inequality was wide.

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