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This is the first detailed study of the recent geographical distribution of poverty and wealth in Britain. It presents the most comprehensive estimates of the changing levels of poverty and wealth from the late 1960s. A wide range of secondary data is used, beginning with the first national Poverty in the UK survey of Peter Townsend and colleagues, and ending with data released during the middle of the current decade. The authors extend concepts of social exclusion to establish five household groupings: the 'exclusive wealthy' - those able to exclude themselves from the norms of society; those who are rich but not exclusively so; those who are neither rich nor poor; the 'breadline poor'; and the 'core poor' - those who experience a combination of severe income poverty, material deprivation and subjective poverty. Poverty and wealth statistics are mapped in detail to explore geographical patterns over the last four decades, and are analysed to determine whether poverty and wealth have become more or less polarised.