The average South West family just 16 days from the breadline, 10 days less than the national average, according to Legal and General.

South West households estimate their savings will last them 54 days – over 3 times the actual length they would last.

The comnpany says their research shows that within just over two weeks of losing their usual sources of income, the average family would be reliant upon state benefits and friends and family alone for financial support.

A spokesman said that "worryingly", this deadline to the breadline has remained the same in the past nine months.

Adding: "Families must clearly remain wary. Many are still in a precarious situation were they to lose their usual sources of income, with 43 per cent having no back up plan – the highest proportion in the UK.

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Other key findings from across the UK: • The average UK household is 26 days from the breadline – but those of a working age (18-64 years old) have a deadline of just 11 days. A third of Britons (33%) still have no savings.

• Households in London have the longest average deadline (79 days) due to a dramatic increase in median savings in the capital over the past six months. Increased savings have also boosted the South East to 44 days, highlighting the disparities between the economic health of these two regions compared to the rest of the UK.

• Median household savings in the North East – which is one of the regions with the shortest deadline along with Wales – have improved but still stand at just £380.

John Pollock, Legal & General Assurance Society CEO said:  “Economic output in the South West is still around three per cent off its 2007 level. In addition, the South West still has levels of unemployment that are far in excess of those which preceded the financial crisis, making it harder for households to bring in additional income and strengthen their financial positions.”

 “It should come as a serious reality check to think that many households in the South West are still in such a precarious situation when it comes to their finances. The fact that households in this region will be reliant upon friends, family or state benefits for financial support – within just over two weeks of a family or individual losing their usual sources of income – should remind us all that this is no time to ignore the warning signs."