UK child poverty rises by 200,000 in a year


The number of children living in poverty in the UK has risen by 200,000 over the past year, according to the latest figures from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

The statistics reveal that in 2014-15, there were 3.9 million children living in ‘relative poverty’, compared to 3.7 million the year earlier. Relative poverty is defined as having a household income below 60% of UK median income.

The figures show that two-thirds of children living in poverty are from households where at least one adult works.


Stephen Crabb, Work and Pensions Secretary, commented: “There is of course still more to do and that’s why our Life Chances Strategy will look at the root causes of poverty whether that’s worklessness, debt or addiction, family break down or educational attainment. It’s only by doing this that we can truly tackle poverty and ensure everyone succeeds in life.”

David Finch, Senior Economic Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “It’s a concern that the welcome income growth in recent years has failed to make any inroads into reducing high levels of child poverty in working households. And while income growth has been positive in recent years, the outlook of weaker pay growth, significant welfare cuts and now higher inflation stemming from the Brexit sterling plunge means the living standards of many families may come under strain in the coming years.”

Simon Hopkins, Chief Executive of Turn2us said: “It is utterly shocking that almost a third of children in the UK are living in poverty and growing up without basic life essentials. It is particularly concerning that two-thirds of children in poverty are from working households. With the rise in insecure and low paid employment, work is simply not paying enough to cover housing, bills and food.

“At a time of potential economic uncertainty, it’s vital that these families aren’t left behind. It is an issue that the Government must continue to address, as well as working with charities such as ourselves to provide assistance where we can. Too much help that is available still doesn't get to those who qualify for it, and we need to change that. With around £15 billion in welfare benefits going unclaimed every year and 3,000 charitable funds available, we urge anyone struggling in financial hardship to see what support could be available.”

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You can use our free Benefits Calculator to check your entitlements to welfare benefits, tax credits and other help, and how to make a claim, and our Grants Search to check your eligibility for a grant from over 3,000 charitable funds.

You can find further support in our ‘in work on a low income' section and ‘bringing up a child' section.

Read more: The Guardian news article (28 June 2016) : Number of UK children living in poverty jumps by 200,000 in a year