Hundreds of people in Wiltshire die in poverty every year, according to new research published by Marie Curie.

According to the end-of-life charity, this data could also be an underestimate.

The report, which was published after the charity commissioned research from Loughborough University, suggests that 500 people in Wiltshire died in 2019 having experienced poverty in the last year of their life.

This is around 11 per cent of the total number of deaths in the same area.

The data was based on a survey of thousands of people from 2009 to 2019.

Poverty was defined according to the Social Metrics Commission's definition, which is how far a person's resources, after housing costs, meets their needs, including "inescapable costs" such as childcare and disability.

Working-age people more than twice as likely to die in poverty

Around three quarters (68,000) of the people who died experiencing poverty in the UK were of pension age, which is 13 per cent of the more than 500,000 deaths in the age group.

However, around 25,000 were of working age - 28 per cent of the 90,000 deaths in the age group - meaning that people of working age were more than twice as likely to die in poverty than pensioners.

In Wiltshire, 372 of the 500 deaths are believed to be pensioners (10 per cent of deaths in the age group), and 128 working age (23 per cent).

The research also suggests women and people from minority ethnic groups are particularly vulnerable to poverty at the end of life.

Juliet Stone, from the Centre for Research in Social Policy at the university, said the cost of living has "risen even further" and "will only get higher in the coming months as the cost of living crisis deepens".

Matthew Reed, chief executive of the charity, added: "No one wants to imagine spending the last months of their life shivering in a cold home, struggling to feed themselves, their children, and burdened with the anxiety of falling into debt.

"But for 90,000 people a year that is their reality.

"We are staggered to see the scale of poverty among dying people – it is shocking."

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