The gap between rich and poor in the UK is as wide as it has been for 40 years, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has said in a report.
The JRF found that households in already wealthy areas had become "disproportionately" richer compared to society as a whole.
But the number of "poor" households has risen over the past 15 years.
Looking at wealth patterns over the past four decades, the JRF found that the gap between rich and poor actually narrowed in the 1970s.
But during the 1980s and 1990s inequality had increased as a "polarisation" in British society had occurred.