University produces atlas of ‘bankrupt UK’

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A NEW kind of atlas showing how the economic turmoil of the past four years has affected Britain has been produced by researchers at Sheffield University.

Bankrupt Britain: An Atlas of Social Change shows for the first time how economic and social fortunes have been affected in different areas in the wake of the 2007 banking crisis, 2008 economic crash, 2009 credit crunch and the 2010 cuts.

Due to the effects of Government cuts on data collection much of the information will not be collected in future, which the authors believe makes the atlas unique.

The work looks at shifts to Britain’s financial, residential, political, moral, emotional and environmental life and highlights how changes have impacted more on the poor and vulnerable.

The atlas also highlights that views on the extent to which Britain is morally or economically bankrupt vary geographically. Londoners are three times more inclined than those in the Midlands to believe ‘the economy is on the mend’.

Co-author Professor Danny Dorling from the university’s geography department said: “In the wealthiest parts of London and the south east, people continue to be extremely well-paid, are becoming wealthier more rapidly, and still often have a lifestyle of hyper-consumption.

“In much of the rest of the country, and especially for poorer groups, austerity has set in and living standards have fallen over the last five years.”

Co-author Dr Bethan Thomas added: “Despite many people’s fears of a bankrupt or broken Britain, this remains one of the richest countries on earth, but the rich have not taken their fair share of austerity.”