The Joseph Rowntree Foundation's child poverty programme explores:
- What causes child poverty in the UK?
- What range of policies, practice and behaviours will work to reduce and end child poverty?
- How effective will current policies be?
- What are the consequences of not tackling child poverty?
Find out more with our data and graphs about child poverty.
- The proportion of children living in poverty has risen considerably in the last 30 years. In 1968 one in ten children lived in poverty (1.4 million children). By 1995 it was one in three (4.3 million children).
- The UK has proportionally more children in poverty than most rich countries. UNICEF places us 14th out of 29 countries in a league table of children’s material wellbeing.
- All political parties have signed up to the goal of ending child poverty by 2020 and to the 2010 Child Poverty Act enshrining this in law.
- In 2011/12, 17 per cent of children, 2.3 million, were living in relative income poverty in the UK.
- This is 1,100,000 children fewer than were in poverty in 1998, and the lowest level of children living in poverty since the mid 1980s. However between 2010/11 and 2011/12, falls in child poverty stalled.
- Research from the Institute of Fiscal Studies estimates that under current policies, over a million more children are expected to be in poverty in 2020 than in 2010.
In addition to the human cost to families and children of allowing high levels of poverty to continue, it is estimated that child poverty costs £29 billion each year in costs to the Exchequer and reduced GDP.
Ending child poverty requires action in a wide range of policy areas including childcare; skills; the availability, quality and flexibility of jobs; families and parenting; and benefits and tax credits.
There are published strategies for the UK, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, setting out plans to meet targets in the Child Poverty Act.
JRF is currently examining: