Joseph Rowntree Foundation

JRF is an independent social change organisation working to solve UK poverty. We were established over 100 years ago by Joseph Rowntree to provide affordable housing in communities and to understand the root causes of social problems.

Through research, policy, collaboration and practical solutions, JRF aims to inspire action and change that will create a prosperous UK without poverty, where:

  • More people want to solve poverty, understand it and take action.
  • More people find a route out of poverty through work.
  • More people find a route out of poverty through a better system of social security.
  • More people live in a decent, affordable home.

In order to loosen poverty’s grip on people who are struggling to get by, we work with private, public and voluntary sectors, as well as people with lived experience of poverty, to deliver credible solutions and hold the Government to account for their actions on poverty.

We regularly publish reports and blogs with policy recommendations on the above areas of work, as well as hosting events bringing key stakeholders together. Our annual report, UK Poverty, provides an overview of the nature and scale of poverty across the UK and how it affects the people caught in its grip.


Latest reports

Poverty stigma: a glue that holds poverty in place

This report from UK think tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation offers a redefinition of poverty stigma and its role in making poverty socially acceptable. The UK is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, but ‘since the 1980s there has been an unprecedented rise in poverty’ in Britain, ‘which has never been reversed’ and...

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Changing the narrative on wealth inequality

This report from UK think tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation is offered as a means of sparking new conversations about the economy, wealth, and wealth inequality. Escalating wealth inequality is causing social and environmental harm. Although it is high and rising, public concern isn't keeping pace. Changing how wealth inequality is talked about could help...

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UK Poverty 2024

This report from UK think tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looks at the current situation across different groups and regions, and the future prospects for poverty in the UK. The UK is entering this election year with unacceptably high levels of poverty, appallingly high for some groups. We need a coherent plan with creative policies...

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UK Poverty 2023: The essential guide to understanding poverty in the UK

This report from UK think tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looks at how levels of poverty differ between groups of people and regions. UK Poverty 2023 sets out recent trends in poverty across the UK, how levels of poverty differ between groups of people and regions, and the impact it has on people’s lives. These...

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Talking about poverty

This report from UK think tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation evaluates the Talking about Poverty project, which ran from 2016 to 2021. This report evaluates the Talking about Poverty project, which ran from 2016 to 2021, and aimed to develop a more effective way of communicating about UK poverty through ‘framing’ – an evidence-based communications...

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Going under and without

This report from UK think tank Joseph Rowntree Foundation is their cost of living tracker for winter 2022/23. This new research highlights that low-income households’ finances continue to buckle under the pressure of the cost of living crisis, as 7.2 million are going without the basics, and 4.7 million are behind on their bills. We...

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Anxiety nation?

This report from UK think tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looks at economic insecurity and mental distress in 2020s Britain. What you need to know On 12 different markers of mental health problems – from sleep loss to impeded social life – renters raised the flag for distress much more often than homeowners, and on...

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Sunshine machines

This essay from UK think tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looks at what infrastructures are needed to cultivate a more feminist, caring digital society. This essay was commissioned as part of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation programme Social justice in a digital age in response to James Plunkett’s essay, The care paradox. Rather than examining how...

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Public services in a digital future

This essay from UK think tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looks at being honest about the choices we face. This blog is part of a collaborative Joseph Rowntree Foundation project examining and exploring ideas we need to advance Social Justice in a Digital Age.

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The care paradox

This essay from UK think tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looks at as capitalism matures, how do we stay human?  When we think about a high-tech society, our minds jump to things that are shiny and new. From iPhones and Teslas to fast-fashion and streamed music, technology equals disruption and innovation. Yet the character of a...

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The invidious hand: social justice in the age of control

This latest report from UK think tank JRF is the first in a series of essays for their new project; social justice in a digital age. The purpose is to explore the new types and forms of injustices which are being thrown up by the shift from industrial to digital capitalism – and its implications...

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Poverty in Northern Ireland 2022

This report from UK think tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looks at rates of poverty of Northern Ireland and the impact that has on the people living there. This report explores the rates of poverty of Northern Ireland and assesses the impact that poverty is having on the lives of people who live there. It...

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Ethnicity, poverty, and the data in Scotland

This report from UK think tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looks at poverty levels for people in minority ethnic communities in Scotland. Poverty levels for people in minority ethnic communities in Scotland are double the national average, and rising. Analysis in this briefing highlights several areas that are contributing to this worrying trend. Recommendations: Scottish...

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Renters on low incomes face a policy black hole: homes for social rent are the answer

This report from UK think tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looks at the large number of households on low incomes paying rents they cannot afford. JRF's latest analysis shows the large number of households on low incomes paying rents they cannot afford in the private rented sector. It provides new analysis on the depth and...

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Poverty in Scotland 2021

This report from UK think tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looks at the current state of poverty in Scotland. This report shows the current state of poverty in Scotland. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic Scotland has blighted by poverty with a million people, including a quarter of a million children, trapped in poverty. What you...

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