Latest child poverty statistics published

Published on: 
13 June 2013

The government has published the most recent child poverty figures for the UK in its report Households Below Average Incomes 2011/12.

CPAG's Alison Garnham has issued a statement saying:

“Despite all the talk about ‘scroungers’ and generations of families never working, today’s poverty figures expose comprehensively the myth that the main cause of poverty is people choosing not to work. The truth is that for a growing number of families work isn’t working. The promise that work would be a route out of poverty has not been kept as wages stagnate and spending cuts have hurt low income working families.

Key points:

  • Relative child poverty remains unchanged at 2.3 million (17%) (Before Housing Costs) and 3.5 million (27%) (After Housing Costs)
  • Absolute child poverty has increased by 300,000 from 2.3 million to 2.6 million (BHC), or 18% to 20%. AHC figures changed by 200,000 from 3.6 million to 3.8 million, 27% to 29%  
  • Material deprivation and severe poverty indicators have improved
  • There was a big rise in the percentage of children living in poverty who live in working families. In 2011-12, 66% of poor children lived in working families. The year before, it was 60%.

It's worth noting that in 2011-12 working families were targeted by nearly £1.5 billion of cuts to working tax credits.

Cuts to working tax credit (WTC) 2011/12


£ million

Family element to be withdrawn from families on more than £40,000



Withdrawal rate increased to 41%



Disregard for in-year income rise reduced from £25,000 to £10,000



Disregard for in-year income rise reduced from £10,000 to £5,000



Childcare costs cut from 80% to 70%



Basic and 30 hour elements WTC frozen for 3 years






Source: HM Treasury