Following are some descriptions of poverty in 1899 that appeared in Rowntree's survey.
No occupation. Married. Age sixty four. Two rooms. The man ‘has not had his boots on' for twelve months. He is suffering from dropsy. His wife cleans schools. This house shares one closet (toilet) with eight other houses and one water tap with four others.
Widow. Four rooms. Grandson (eleven) sleeps here. Parish relief. Woman takes lodgers when she can get them, but that is seldom. Do not know how she manages to live.
Charwoman. Two rooms. Son twenty. Casual labourer. Husband in workhouse. Dirt and drink in plenty. This house shares one water tap with six other houses and one closet with two others.
Age 38. Labourer. Married. Three rooms. Six children, school eight or under. Wife used to go out to work and cannot do so now. House clean, but damp and almost uninhabitable. There are eleven houses in this yard and three houses join at one closet.