Men and Boys’ Inequality – UK statistics

The following post outlines some of the inequalities that men and boys in the UK experience.

From the moment they are born boys are more likely die before the age of one.

They are also more likely to be rejected by or removed from their families, being 25% more likely to be taken into care and 25% less likely to taken out of care by being adopted.

Boys are twice as likely to have a Special Educational Need and twice as likely to have literacy problems. They are four times more likely to be excluded from school.

1.5 million boys are separated from their fathers and half a million have no contact with their dad. The lack of a father (and lack of male role models more generally) impacts boys in different ways to girls who have a wealth of female role models including the 85% of primary school teachers who are female.

By the time they reach 16 boys are  two-and-half times more likely to die before they reach 25 years old. They are also more likely to experience youth unemployment, less likely to go to university and and those that do are 50% more likely to be unemployed when they graduate.

Throughout life men are more likely to experience being unemployed and looking for work and  are twice as likely to die before reaching retirement age. More than 95% of the 200 people killed in the workplace  every year are men.

More than 10 men a day kill themselves with men being 3 times more likely to commit suicide. Men are also twice as likely to be victims of violent crime and are more likely to killed by strangers and killed by someone they know accounting for more than 71% of  all murders.

Men also 4 times more likely to alcoholic, three times more likely to be dependent on cannabis, account for 9 out of 10 rough sleepers.

Many of these issues overlap.

Boys who are fatherless, illiterate and end up in care are more likely to be excluded from school.

Boys with literacy problems are two to three times more likely to end up being heavy smokers, drinkers and unemployed.

Boys from fatherless families are nine times more likely to commit crime.

Boys who are excluded from school are 19 times more likely to commit suicide.

Boys who are fatherless, in care, excluded from school and have literacy problems are more likely to end up in prison.

So why is it that 95% of the country’s 100,000 prisoners male? Is it because men are naturally criminal? If that was the case surely all classes of society would be equally represented in prison.

So what type of men end up in jail? Click here for statistics on men in jail. 



Glen Poole is UK co-ordinator for International Men's Day, Director at the consultancy Helping Men and news editor of insideMAN magazine. Follow him on twitter @HelpingMen or find out more about his work at

Posted in NEWS
3 comments on “Men and Boys’ Inequality – UK statistics
  1. Steve W says:

    Possibly it comes down the feminist adage “Women have problems, men are a problem”. When a man is found guilty of a serious crime, he is regarded as a criminal. When a woman is found guilty of a serious crime, all kinds of excuses and mitigation are made as to why she did it. This kind of analysis is, of course, exactly what you have done above for men and boys… it is just that the courts (and society) are more likely to perform the same analysis when a woman is found guilty of a crime. And the outcome of that analysis is usually that she does not deserve to go to prison. Even if she is sentenced to prison, the term is likely to be less than a man’s for a similar crime. There are even feminists calling for female prisons to be shut down, and “alternative measures” be taken for women offenders. Like, letting them off, for instance…

    • MEN HEAL says:

      This is a very late reply. However nothing has changed since 2012. When I speak up about male inequality (higher suicide rate, unfairness in the child custody courts etc), people try and shut down the discussion. Common tactics are laughter, verbal abuse, turning the conversation back onto women and saying their situation is allegedly worse (the conversation therefore stops).

  2. […] our favourite statistical article this month is Men and Boys’ Inequality – UK Statistics which we put together for a talk at TEDxLSE called A New Gender Agenda – this is agood 15 minute […]

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