Child poverty facts and figures | CPAG

Child poverty facts and figures

The facts and figures show the reality of child poverty in the UK.

  • There were 4.2 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2018-19. That's 30 per cent of children, or nine in a classroom of 30.1
  • 44 per cent of children living in lone-parent families are in poverty.2 Lone parents face a higher risk of poverty due to the lack of an additional earner, low rates of maintenance payments, gender inequality in employment and pay, and childcare costs. 
  • Children from black and minority ethnic groups are more likely to be in poverty: 46 per cent are now in poverty, compared with 26 per cent of children in White British families.3
  • Work does not provide a guaranteed route out of poverty in the UK. 72 per cent of children growing up in poverty live in a household where at least one person works.4
  • Children in large families are at a far greater risk of living in poverty – 43 per cent of children living in families with 3 or more children live in poverty.5
  • Childcare and housing are two of the costs that take the biggest toll on families’ budgets. 
  • Between 1998 and 2003 reducing child poverty was made a priority - with a comprehensive strategy and investment in children - and the number of children in poverty fell by 600,000.6
  • Removing the two-child limit and the benefit cap would lift 100,000s of children out of poverty.7
  • Increasing child benefit would substantially reduce child poverty as well as providing support to all families with the extra costs children bring.

 

(Updated July 2020. All poverty figures are after housing costs)

Find out more about poverty across the world

 

  • 1. Households Below Average Income, Statistics on the number and percentage of people living in low income households for financial years 1994/95 to 2018/19, Tables 4a and 4b. Department for Work and Pensions, 2020
  • 2. Households Below Average Income, Statistics on the number and percentage of people living in low income households for financial years 1994/95 to 2018/19, Table 4.5db. Department for Work and Pensions, 2020
  • 3. Author’s Calculations from Households Below Average Income, Statistics on the number and percentage of people living in low income households for financial years 1994/95 to 2018/19, Tables 4.3db & 4.5db. Department for Work and Pensions, 2020.
  • 4. Households Below Average Income, Statistics on the number and percentage of people living in low income households for financial years 1994/95 to 2018/19, Table 4.3db. Department for Work and Pensions, 2020
  • 5. Households Below Average Income, Statistics on the number and percentage of people living in low income households for financial years 1994/95 to 2018/19, Table 4.5db. Department for Work and Pensions, 2020
  • 6. Households Below Average Income, Statistics on the number and percentage of people living in low income households for financial years 1994/95 to 2018/19, Table 4.3tr. Department for Work and Pensions, 2020
  • 7. Universal credit: what needs to change, CPAG, 2019