Child poverty facts and figures | CPAG

Child poverty facts and figures

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

Stats

  • There were 4.1 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2017-18. That's 30 per cent of children, or nine in a classroom of 30.1
  • There are expected to be 5.2 million children living in poverty in the UK by 2022.2
  • 47% of children living in lone-parent families are in poverty.3 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: 45 per cent are now in poverty, compared with 26 per cent of children in White British families.4
  • London has the highest rate of child poverty in the country.5 You can see local child poverty rates on the End Child Poverty website.
  • Child poverty reduced dramatically between 1998 and 2012 when 800,000 children were lifted out of poverty.
  • Work does not provide a guaranteed route out of poverty in the UK. 70 per cent of children growing up in poverty live in a household where at least one person works.6
  • 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.7
  • Childcare and housing are two of the costs that take the biggest toll on families’ budgets. When you account for childcare costs, an extra 130,000 children are pushed into poverty.8

(Updated March 2019. 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 2017/18, Tables 4a and 4b. Department for Work and Pensions, 2019.
  • 2. Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK: 2017–18 to 2021–22, The Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • 3. Households Below Average Income, Statistics on the number and percentage of people living in low income households for financial years 1994/95 to 2017/18, Table 4.5db. Department for Work and Pensions, 2019.
  • 4. Households Below Average Income, Statistics on the number and percentage of people living in low income households for financial years 1994/95 to 2017/18, Table 4.5db. Department for Work and Pensions, 2019.
  • 5. Households Below Average Income, Statistics on the number and percentage of people living in low income households for financial years 1994/95 to 2017/18, Table 4.16ts. Department for Work and Pensions, 2019.
  • 6. Households Below Average Income, Statistics on the number and percentage of people living in low income households for financial years 1994/95 to 2017/18, Table 4.6ts. Department for Work and Pensions, 2019.
  • 7. Households Below Average Income, Statistics on the number and percentage of people living in low income households for financial years 1994/95 to 2017/18, Table 4.5db. Department for Work and Pensions, 2019.
  • 8. D Hirsch and L Valadez. How much does the official measure of child poverty under-estimate its extent by failing to take account of childcare costs? June 2015.