Thousands in West are one bill away from the breadline
The fragile financial futures of people across the Westcountry who are in work but on low incomes has been exposed by new research.
Experian Public Sector used a combination of its own data and social indicators to measure how economically "resilient" different areas are.
It revealed a list of households who were already struggling to pay the bills despite working full-time and were "at risk" of slipping into poverty.
Experian's Bruno Rost explained: "These are the people who are on the cliff edge and, should circumstances deteriorate further, are the types of people likely to suffer most with a change in fortune."
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Local authority areas in Devon and Cornwall featured prominently in the national table compiled by Experian for The Guardian newspaper.
Torbay topped the national list with 37 per cent of 61,800 homes at risk.
In Teignbridge, which was ranked 13th, the figures were 15,600 households (28 per cent), in North Devon, which was 15th on the list, it was 10,800 properties (27 per cent).
Torridge, which has one of the lowest average pay rates in the country, was ranked 23rd, with 7,600 (26 per cent) of homes at risk of poverty. In Cornwall the rate was 26 per cent or 62,700 households.
The figures contrasted sharply with Exeter where only 14 per cent, or 7,200 homes, were judged at risk.
Devon and Cornwall Business Council chairman Tim Jones said it was important to keep it in perspective and there were not hundreds of people "begging on the streets of Torbay".
But he said the report "reflected what we are experiencing in the marketplace" across the two counties.
"The fact is we do have a small and micro-business economy, a lot of people who are self employed, while part-time work is more prevalent than the statistics would suggest," Mr Jones said.
"Low take-home pay, low productivity and gross domestic product are some of the problems we are having to grapple with. We have got to work very hard to create opportunities through regeneration in particular."
A Torbay Council spokesman said it "recognises the issues affecting Torbay" and had "many measures and strategies in place to try and reduce poverty and social deprivation in the Bay".
He added: "We are working closely with our partners to address inequalities, but it is a complex issue heightened by the fact that we are experiencing financial constraints. We do adopt a 'first and most' policy which targets resources at the areas and people that are most at need.
"Torbay Council is also committed to creating opportunities for the community through job-led regeneration, creating an environment that encourages inward investment and raising skills levels in the Bay.
"All these things will help improve the prospects of Torbay's economy to prevent more people from experiencing financial and social problems and to help more people escape poverty."