Child poverty | CPAG

Child poverty

Poverty affects more than one in four children in the UK today. When kids grow up poor they miss out – and so do the rest of us. They miss out on the things most children take for granted: warm clothes, school trips, having friends over for tea. They do less well at school and earn less as adults.

But poverty isn’t inevitable. With the right policies, every child can have the opportunity to do well in life, and we all share the rewards of having a stronger economy and a healthier, fairer society. Any family can fall on hard times and find it difficult to make ends meet.

At CPAG we use our understanding of poverty, and the impact it has on children's lives, to campaign for policies that will prevent and solve poverty – for good.

How can we solve poverty? 

Graph - child poverty projection

Child poverty facts and figures

The UK remains one of the richest countries in the world. Yet a substantial number of children live in poverty.
Definition of poverty

What is poverty?

Poverty is going without the necessities of life; inequality refers to the gap where some people have less than others.
Measurement of poverty graphic

Measuring poverty

One in five households in the UK have an income below the poverty line, after their housing costs are taken into account.
Causes of poverty - low pay

The causes of poverty

A range of factors including rising living costs, low pay, lack of work and inadequate social security benefits mean some people do not have enough resources.
Effects of poverty on health

The effects of poverty

Poverty in childhood is damaging: to children, to their life chances and to communities. Child poverty impacts on children's ability to enjoy childhood and achieve their aspirations.
graphic

Who is at risk of poverty?

Families with children face higher risks of poverty because of the extra costs of children and because of the effect on parents' working hours.
Moving in and out of poverty picture

The dynamics of poverty

The effects of poverty are more profound when people live in poverty for longer, or fall deeper into poverty. The UK has a high rate of people moving in and out of poverty.
graphic

Poverty and costs

In 2018, the additional basic cost of a child, from birth to age 18, was £75,147 for a couple family, and £101,883 for a lone-parent family.
International comparisons graphic

Poverty across the world

UK child poverty rates are around the average among European Union countries. But the UK's initial child poverty rate - before taking into account the effect of social security transfers - is among the highest.

ANIMATION

Watch our short animation to find out what life is like for a child growing up poor in the UK.