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Child poverty is becoming the ‘new normal’ in parts of Britain as fastest rises in poverty hit the poorest areas

  • In some constituencies more than half of children are growing up in poverty
  • Impoverished areas see the greatest rises in child poverty
  • Child poverty highest in big cities, particularly London, Birmingham and Greater Manchester
  • 500k more children are having their lives limited by poverty today than at the start of the decade[1]

The UK’s leading child poverty coalition is calling for the major Parties to outline ambitious child poverty-reduction strategies as new data published today shows that child poverty is becoming the norm in some parts of Britain, with more than 50% of children living trapped in poverty in some constituencies.

The data, published by the End Child Poverty coalition, highlights how worrying levels of child poverty vary across Britain and shows that poverty is on the rise – and rising fastest in places where it is already highest.

Researchers from Loughborough University estimated the numbers of children locked in poverty in each constituency, ward and local authority area across Britain, showing that child poverty is rising particularly rapidly in parts of major cities, especially London, Birmingham and Manchester, suggesting that inequality between areas is growing.

The local authority areas facing the highest levels of child poverty, after housing costs are taken into account, are:

  • Tower Hamlets – 56.7%
  • Newham – 51.8%
  • Hackney – 48.1%
  • Islington – 47.5%
  • Blackburn with Darwen – 46.9%
  • Westminster – 46.2%
  • Luton – 45.7%
  • Manchester – 45.4%
  • Pendle – 44.7%
  • Peterborough – 43.8%
  • Camden – 43.5%
  • Sandwell – 43.2%

Anna Feuchtwang, Chair of the End Child Poverty coalition, said:

‘We know what causes child poverty and we know how to end it. We know that the income of less well-off families has been hit by severe real-terms cuts in benefits and by higher housing costs. And we know that work alone does not guarantee a route out of poverty, with two thirds of child poverty occurring in working families.’

‘Yet in many areas growing up in poverty is not the exception it’s the rule with more children expected to get swept up in poverty in the coming years, with serious consequences for their life chances. Policymakers can no longer deny the depth of the problem or abandon entire areas to rising poverty. The Government must respond with a credible child poverty-reduction strategy.

 ‘The Government’s own data shows that child poverty in the UK has been rising steadily in recent years.    This just isn’t right.’

‘Growing up in poverty means growing up trapped. It restricts a child’s chances of doing well at school, of living a healthy and happy life, and of finding well paid work as adults. We urgently need Government to set a course of action that will free our children from the grip of poverty.’

End Child Poverty is calling for Government to set out an ambitious and credible child poverty-reduction strategy, including:

  • Restoring the link between benefits (including housing support) and inflation, and then making up for the loss in the real value in children’s benefits as a result of the 4-year freeze and previous sub-inflation increases in benefit rates.
  • Ending the two-child limit on child allowances in tax credits and universal credit-and reforming Universal Credit;
  • Reversing the cuts and investing in children’s services such as mental health, education, childcare and social care.

The full report is available at: http://localhost:8888/endchildpoverty/poverty-in-your-area-2019/



For press inquiries and comment please contact the National Children’s Bureau press team: 07721 097033


  1. The Government’s Households Below Average Income data published in March 2019 showed relative child poverty, after housing costs are factored in, increased by 500k between 2010/11 and 2017/18.
  2. The research was conducted by Professor Donald Hirsch and Dr Juliet Stone at the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University. Levels of child poverty were compiled using a new, improved method for estimating child poverty using a wide range of indicators. These were combined employing a statistical technique that is widely used in calculating local data, including by the Office for National Statistics and the World Bank. The methodology is available at http://localhost:8888/endchildpoverty/poverty-in-your-area-2019/
  3. The Institute for Fiscal Studies projects that as a result of cuts to benefits and in-work allowances child poverty will increase to 5.1 million by 2022
  4. End Child Poverty ( is a coalition of more than 70 organisations from UK civic society including children’s charities, child welfare organisations, social justice groups, faith groups and trade unions, united in our vision of a UK free of child poverty.
  5. The data for each Ward, Constituency and Local Authority is available from 15th May at http://localhost:8888/endchildpoverty/poverty-in-your-area-2019/. For advance copies please contact / / 07721 097 033.


[1] The Government’s Households Below Average Income data published in March 2019 showed relative child poverty, after housing costs are factored in, increased by 500k between 2010/11 and 2017/18.


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