By Lewis Thelwell

11th February 2019

In February 2015, it was estimated that over 5 million people in the United Kingdom depend on benefits to make ends meet.

The poorest people in our society hold just 8.7% of the country’s wealth, while the richest 10% hold a jaw-dropping 45%.

With shows like Benefits Britain and Rich House, Poor House highlighting the striking differences in UK households more and more people are beginning to question how their tax money is spent.

This stark divide is only widened more by the stigma and misinformation that surrounds our country’s benefits system.

For instance, last year the government spent an eye-watering £253 billion on welfare alone. Shocking right? But what if I told you that only 1% of that sum went towards unemployment benefits, while 45% covered the cost of pensions -would you feel differently?

In reality, most UK towns have an average -or lower than average- number of benefits claimants, however the minority which can claim as much as seven times the amount have thrown the entire system out of balance.

Below are 60 towns in the UK that claim the most benefits. Where does your town place?

The UK’s Jobless Blackspots…

Recent studies revealed that 3,328,000 people claim one of five working-age benefits i.e. Jobseekers’ Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Seven Disablement Allowance, Income Support etc.

60. Pendle, Lancashire

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We begin our list with Pendle, a local government district and borough of Lancashire with a population of 90,111 people according to the 2015 census.

It is also on the higher end of the benefits claiming spectrum with around 1,300 people in the area relying on the welfare system.

59. Barnsley East, South Yorkshire

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Next up we have Barnsley East, a constituency in South Yorkshire with an estimated population of 68,243  people.

The area is one of the highest numbers of benefits claimants in the Yorkshire area with 1,470 people relying on the system.

58. Stockport, Greater Manchester

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Just over an hour away we have our next benefits hot-spot, Stockport, where an estimated 1,750  people claim some form of benefits.

Shocking Figures…

Of the 3,328,000 benefits claimants, a staggering 2,289,000 were found to have been claiming for a minimum of three out of the last four years!

57. Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

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Huddersfield is a large market town -the 11th largest town in the UK- in West Yorkshire with a population of 162,949 people.

Of this vast population, it was discovered that 1,785 people rely on UK benefits to get by.

56. Worsley and Eccles South

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The 2010 census revealed Worsley and Eccles South to have an estimated population of 73,409 people.

Of this number, an unsettling 1,900 people claim benefits! Local Labour MP, Barbara Keeley has been fighting to stop cuts in the area with support from her constituents.

55. Doncaster, Yorkshire

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Our second Yorkshire town on the list is Doncaster, with an estimated population of 109,805 people, shocking figures have shown 1,915 of them to be benefits claimants.

More Surprises To Come

This year has seen unemployment rise at its fastest rate in five years despite claims from the government that unemployment is on the decrease.

54. Merthyr Tydfil, Cardiff

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Next we have our first Welsh town, Merthyr Tydfil which in a past life was the largest town in all of Wales.

This Cardiff town claims a whopping £97.1 million each year on benefits -this equates to approximately £1,528 for each resident!

53. Cardiff South and Penarth

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There are 75,175 people who reside in Cardiff South and Penrath, making it the largest constituency in the whole of Wales.

The area is also responsible for guzzling a large portion of the benefits budget, with an estimated £100.2 million being spent in this location per annum.

52. Govan, Glasgow

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In September of this year, Govan became the first Jobcentre in Glasgow to move to the new benefit system -the highly controversial: Universal Credit.

Is The System Broken?

The new Universal Credit system has already drummed up a fair few horror stories with many being forced to turn to food-banks or face rent arrears.

51. North East, Glasgow

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Towns located within North East Glasgow include Milton, Robroyston, Dennistoun, Springburn and Carntyne – which are next up on our list.

This collective area has an estimated population of 177,489 people and every year an approximate £135.5 million is spent on benefits.

50. Ferguslie Park, Paisley

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In 2016, Paisley’s Ferguslie Park was dubbed the most deprived area in the whole of Scotland!

With crime and unemployment in this area being as prevalent as it is, Ferguslie Park is in desperate need of change.

49. Wigan, Greater Manchester

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Ranking next on our list we have Wigan, a town located in Greater Manchester where 2,060 people use the benefits system.

More Greater Manchester?!

This year saw a 13% spike in benefits claimants using food-banks after benefits failed to cover the cost of essentials!

48. Oldham East and Saddleworth, Greater Manchester

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Oldham has been named as one of the most deprived towns in England, but what does that really mean?

On the outside the town seems to be teaming with life and prosperity as new buildings are erected, but underneath the mask, Oldham East and Saddleworth have a combined 2,080 residents on welfare.

47. Kingston Upon Hull, East Yorkshire

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Kingston Upon Hull might offer a lot for tourists, for example The Deep Aquarium and the old town’s museums, but when it comes to quality of life, its residents are suffering.

It is estimated that around 2,215 people residing in the area rely solely on benefits.

46. Bolton, Greater Manchester

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Greater Manchester’s town of Bolton is home to approximately 194,189 people -2,245 of whom are benefits claimants.

A Stark Divide…

Last year, a record number of 1.3 million food parcels were given to an estimated 666,000 people!

45. Cowgate, Newcastle Upon Tyne

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Newcastle Upon Tyne’s town of Cowgate has been labelled as one of the worst in the area!

Cowgate falls into lowest 10% of income, employment, health deprivation and disability. Its neighbouring towns didn’t fare much better and overall Newcastle Upon Tyne has an estimated 2,370 residents on welfare.

44. Blackpool, Lancashire

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Lancashire’s town of Blackpool has an overall population of 139,720, but perhaps surprisingly it’s only that north of this seaside resort that has seen shocking numbers of benefits claimants.

Recent figures have shown that Blackpool South has 2,275 residents who rely on benefits to make ends meet.

43. Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham

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The next market town to make an appearance on our list is Stockton-on-Tees in County Durham, which even featured in Channel 4’s Benefits Street a few years back.

More northern towns…

Some of the most deprived areas in the UK are the once idyllic seaside resorts which have long been abandoned by tourists.

42. Hessle, Yorkshire

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Hessle is a small Yorkshire town with a population of 15,000 people, but don’t let that fool you – this tiny town has been raking in the benefits.

The rate of benefits claimants in this area is more than 25% the national average with the majority stating they are too sick to work.

41. Redcar, North Yorkshire

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Redcar is a seaside resort in North Yorkshire that was once bustling with life, but over the years things have changed dramatically.

Now, it is estimated that 5.7% of the areas work aged population (those between 16 and 64) are unemployed.

40. South Shields

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In South Shields there are around 2,670 people claiming benefits, with 28% of the areas population leaving school with no qualifications.

What’s Going On With Liverpool?

Liverpool is one of the most unemployed UK cities and plenty of its towns have shown the results of this.

39. Bootle, Liverpool

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The once industry rich town of Bootle, Liverpool has been struggling under the pressure of the modern age, leaving 3,120 of its residents no other choice but to sign on.

In 2016, it was announced that Bootle would be receiving a complete overhaul costing £100m, which aims to boost the employment rate in the area.

38. West Derby, Liverpool

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Our next Liverpool location is West Derby, a suburb in the east of the city which is home to 14,382 people.

Unfortunately this small town is rife with unemployment, leaving 2,385 of its residents turning towards welfare.

37. Wavertree, Liverpool

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Wavertree might have a tiny population of 14,772 people, but over 15% of the population rely on benefits to get by!

It Gets Worse…

In spite of what some people believe, of the 5 million benefits claimaints in the UK, only 7.2% of those were non-UK nationals.

36. Widnes, Liverpool

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Our next location is also in Liverpool and it’s the small industrial town of Widnes in Halton.

Widnes has a population of 60,221 people and of that population, 1,880 are claiming some form of benefit.

35. Sale, Cheshire

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Leaving Liverpool alone for a little while, next up on our list is Cheshire’s town of Sale.

Although dubbed as the fourth best place to live in England, Sale has a staggering number of benefits claimants with 1,960 people of its 55,234 population relying on welfare.

34. Halewood, Knowsley

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Things grow increasingly worse as we reach Halewood, Knowsley where 17% of the areas working-age population relies on benefits.

Benefit Dependent Towns

Those on benefits have described feeling under pressure by the DWP, which has only been made worse by the fact large supermarkets have been sharing CCTV footage of their shoppers in order to build cases against claimants!

33. Blackley, Manchester

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Manchester’s town of Blackley has a minute population of 10,196 people, but that doesn’t stop it from landing a high up spot on our list.

Approximately 19.2% of Blackley’s population claims some form of benefits -with 5% claiming only Job Seekers Allowance.

32. Gorton, Manchester

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Less than twenty minutes away we have our next town, this time it’s Manchester’s Gorton.

With much of the town having been left in ruin, it’s perhaps no wonder 2,590 residents have turned to welfare.

31. Beswick, Manchester

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Beswick is next up and this Manchester town hasn’t fared much better! This area has a 25% more benefits claimants than the national average.

The Top 30!

With soaring rent prices across the UK making homes un-affordable, even some of those in full-time employment rely on welfare to get by!

30. Royton, Oldham

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Greater Manchester’s town of Royton in Oldham is another of the UK’s benefit black spots!

In Royton it is estimated that almost 20% of the 21,284 claim some form of benefit.

29. Rochdale, Greater Manchester

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Home of the first ever Co-operative shop, Rochdale in Greater Manchester has sadly been on a decline over the past decade.

It is estimated that 5,200 of residents are unemployed with 2,360 claiming some form of benefit.

28. Thornbury, Bradford East

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Bradford East’s town of Thornbury is another location struggling with unemployment. In 2016 it was estimated that of the 12,342 people living in the area, 8.8% claim benefits.

More Benefits Guzzling Towns…

Now that we’re into our top thirty benefits guzzling towns there are bound to be some figures that shock you…

27. Bramley, Leeds

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Did you know that Bramley, Leeds is the hometown of music icon, David Bowie’s paternal grandfather?

You were also most likely unaware that this little town claims more than 25% the national average in benefits!

26. Bradford West, Yorkshire

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Just like East Bradford, the west of the city is also struggling to cope with its number of benefits claimants.

It has been estimated that around 2,765 people in this area are relying on UK handouts.

25. Great Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire

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Grimsby, sometimes known as ‘Great’ Grimsby is a large coastal town with an estimated population of 88,243 people -2,485 of which are on benefits.

There’s More To Come…

Tax Credits are the most costly UK benefits followed closely by Housing Benefit, Child Benefit and Disability Living Allowance.

24. Kingston Upon Hull North

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Kingston Upon Hull North is next up on our list and just like the west, it too has seen a rise in benefits claimants.

Figures from 2016 have revealed that 2,555 people living in this area are living off benefits.

23. Devonport, Plymouth

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Formerly named Plymouth Dock, Devonport is a small county borough that is home to around 14,788 people.

Last year it was revealed that as many as 1 in 4 children in some areas of Plymouth are living in poverty!

22. Poplar and Limehouse, London

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On the other side of the country we have Poplar and Limehouse in London where approximately 2,560 of the areas population relies on welfare to survive.

The Top 20…

Of the ten most costly benefits in the United Kingdom, Job Seekers Allowance comes seventh followed by Council Tax Benefit, Statutory Maternity Pay and Carer’s allowance!

21. Kilburn, Northwest London

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Camden’s town of Kilburn has a minute population of 12,038 people – and a number of those are on benefits!

It was revealed by Socio-economic statistics that around 12.6% of the people in this area are signed on to some form of benefit.

20. Homerton, Hackney

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Hackney has the most housing benefit claimants in London, with 48,400 people in the area receiving financial assistance with their rent.

In Homerton and its surrounding areas there are as many as 2,590 people out of work and claiming benefits.

19. Tottenham, North London

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Approximately 15.5% of Tottenham residents are claiming at least one form of benefit with 4.8% claiming only Job Seekers Allowance.

You’re In For A Shock!

Did you know that before Universal Credit was rolled out, there were 59 different UK benefits?

18. Camberwell and Peckham

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According to the census that was taken in 2011, around 125,226 people reside in Camberwell and Peckham.

Of these people, approximately 2,630 completely rely on government handouts in order to get by.

17. Vauxhall, London

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If those figures didn’t didn’t make your jaw drop, then trust us when we say these ones definitely will…

It was recently uncovered that 2,275 of people who reside in Vauxhall, London rely on benefits!

16. Hammersmith

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Hammersmith is might be teaming with life, but it’s also one of our top 20 benefits claiming locations in the UK. In this area alone, 2,345 people are signed on!

Counting Down…

Did you know that 44% of people think that unemployment benefits are not enough to live on?

15. Edgbaston, Birmingham

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Did you know that Lord Of The Rings author, J. R. R. Tolkien lived in Edgbaston during his teenage years? Things have certainly changed since then…

Edgbaston has an estimated population of 20,749 people -2,300 of whom are currently on benefits!

14. Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough

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The English constituency made up of Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough is another benefits devouring spot.

As many as 2,780 people in this area are relying on some form of UK benefit.

13. Aspley, Nottingham North

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17,622 people reside in Aspley, Nottingham and a shocking 19% of those are signed on.

The Top 12…

Did you know that 300,000 people in the UK leave work each year as a result of a long-term mental health condition?

12. Sherwood, Nottingham East

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The census taken in 2011 showed there to be 15,414 people living in Sherwood, Nottingham.

Sherwood and its surrounding areas haven’t being doing well as of late with 2,810 people now depending on welfare.

11. Brent Central

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Brent Central is densely populated area which is home to approximately 137,438 people, but what will shock you more is how much of the benefits budget is spent here…

Each year the government spends an average total of £425.4 million on the benefits claimants in this area alone!

10. Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire

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This large post-industrial town is home to more than 170,000 people but what might surprise you is that 3,370 of them are completely dependent on benefits.

It’s About To Get Even More Shocking…

According to TUC, one in eight people are too ill or disabled to work until state pension age!

9. Belfast West, Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland’s capital city of Belfast has perhaps surprisingly made it to our top ten.

In Belfast West, there are around 3,400 people who are completely reliant on the financial support that the UK benefits system provides.

8. Belfast North, Northern Ireland

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North Belfast has fared slightly worse with 3,415 of its residents now relying solely on government handouts.

It is estimated that one third of children in this area are living in poverty!

7. Hunslet, Leeds

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Central Leeds ranked at number seven of the UK’s benefit hot-spots with Hunslet being one of the worst off inner city locations. Almost 4,000 people in this area are signed on to at least one form of benefit!

There’s something about Birmingham…

Shocking figures have shown that of the top ten UK benefits hot-spots, five of them were towns located inside Birmingham!

6. Erdington, Birmingham

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Formerly home to the famous rock venue, Mothers which hosted bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and The Who -it’s safe to say things have drastically changed for this English town.

Birmingham’s town or Erdington is home to approximately 22,828 people, 4,175 of which are on benefits.

5. Hall Green, Birmingham

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Coming in at number five we have another Birmingham town, this time it’s Hall Green.

26,429 live in this area, however a staggering 4,260 of them are currently depending on benefits.

4. Perry Barr, Birmingam

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Just over 8 miles away we have Perry Barr, the next town on our list which has a jaw-dropping 4,390 benefits claimants!

The Top 3…

Join us as we uncover the top thee benefits claiming towns in the whole of the UK…

3. Foyle, Northern Ireland

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Coming in at third place we have our third Northern Ireland location, Foyle which will surprise you with its number of benefits claimants.

In 2016 it was revealed that this benefits hot-spot has an estimated 4,560 residents who depend on benefits.

2. Hodge Hill, Birmingham

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If that didn’t shock you then this figure certainly will -coming in at number two on the list we have Hodge Hill, Birmingham.

This area is home to 28,026 people according to the 2011 census, 5,090 of those are benefits claimants.

1. Ladywood, Birmingham

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Ladywood, Birmingham is the number one benefits town in the whole of the UK with an eye-watering 7,120 of its 23,789 residents claiming benefits!

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