UK: local child poverty
The End Child Poverty campaign, of which Save the Children is a member, has published figures which provide a child poverty map of the whole of the UK.
These figures reveal not only the depth of child poverty across some parts of the country, but also the startling inequality children face from one area to another.
The income disparity across regions of the UK is huge. London is a prime example: in Bethnal Green and Bow, 42% of children are living in poverty compared to 7% in Richmond and 11% in Kingston.
This example may seem cherry picked to provide the starkest example of inequality possible, but this is a story repeated up and down the country.
In the North West, 38% of children in Manchester are growing up poor, while in Ribble Valley the figure is just 7%.
The effects of poverty
We know that child poverty damages children’s experiences of childhood and harms their future life chances. Our research earlier this year found that:
- More than half of parents in poverty (61%) say they have cut back on food, and over a quarter (26%) say they’ve skipped meals in the past year.
- Around one in five parents in poverty (19%) say their children have to go without new shoes when they need them.
- A large number of children in poverty say they’re missing out on things that many other children take for granted, such as going on school trips (19%) and having a warm coat in winter (14%).
- Only one in five parents in poverty (20%) say they haven’t had to borrow money to pay for essentials, such as food and clothes, in the past year.
Going without the basics
Will Higham, our UK Director has been out and about today, talking about the effect that a childhood in poverty can have.
He said: “It is just wrong that almost half of all children, across swathes of our country, are growing up in poverty.
“These are children growing up on the edge or missing out on basic essentials; a warm home, decent clothes and enough food. These are tough times but every child deserves a fair chance and a good start in life.”
Cutting back on food and going without the essentials is the reality for the children behind these statistics.
We hope that today’s research will encourage the government to look closely at its strategy for reducing child poverty and ensure that it remains committed to helping the millions of children whose lives are blighted by its impact daily.
Read the full report here