Urgent relief measures for poor single people have been urged as latest government analyses show the wealth gap is at its widest among those living alone. Households in the lowest income group have also seen their median monthly income fall by three per cent in real terms over the past 10 years, according to the figures, released to legislators yesterday. Social scientist Dr Wong Hung, of City University's division of social studies, said the report revealed more single people had been condemned to poverty over the years. Dr Wong also blamed government measures for forcing more needy elderly to live alone, citing recent changes in the public assistance scheme which disqualify senior citizens living with their families. About 60 per cent of 230,000 public assistance recipients are elderly people, of whom 70 per cent are single. The Gini co-efficient, an index to measure income equality, stands at 0.620 this year for one-person households, compared to 0.577 in 1991, according to the Census and Statistics Department. A rise in the index means greater inequality. Dr Wong said it had reached the danger level. Veteran welfare worker Ho Hei-wah, director of the Society for Community Organisation, called for more government assistance to help needy single people. A spokeswoman for the Census and Statistics Department yesterday declined to comment. Latest analyses showed the median household income had jumped by 88 per cent to $18,705 between 1991 and 2001. The proportion of families with a monthly income under $2,000 dropped from 4.8 per cent in 1991 to 3.2 per cent this year. On Thursday, a survey by political group the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood found 53 per cent of respondents anticipated the income-gap problem would worsen in the next five years and two-thirds of them believed it would lead to social unrest.