Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Study reveals youth poverty plight

Nearly three in 10 seven-year-olds are living in poverty, a report shows

Nearly three in 10 seven-year-olds are living in poverty, new research suggests.

Despite Government efforts to eradicate child poverty, many youngsters are still living below the breadline, a study reveals.

Those living in single-parent families, homes where parents were unemployed, or from some ethnic minorities were more likely to be poor.

The living conditions of almost 14,000 children were assessed by the Institute of Education as part of the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), which is tracking thousands of youngsters born in the UK between 2000 and 2002.

The study, which looked at the net income of parents, found that 29.6% were living on incomes of less than 60% of an average family's weekly income. This means that a family with two parents and two children would be living on £330 per week.

It suggests that around a fifth of the children assessed are living in such severe poverty that their family's income is less than 50% of the average family's weekly income.

At this level, a family of two parents and two children would have an income of around £250 per week. The average family's weekly income is £563.

The study found that the make-up of a child's family was a strong indicator of poverty. Almost two thirds (63%) of children in single-parent families were living below the study's poverty line, compared to 16% of those with married parents and 30% of those with cohabiting parents.

And it says that nearly nine in 10 children (88%) living with a single, unemployed parent, were living below the 60% threshold , while 87% of children with two unemployed parents were in this situation.

More than seven in 10 (73%) of the Pakistani and Bangladeshi seven-year-olds assessed were living in families on less than 60% of the average weekly income, compared to one in four white and Indian children (26% and 25% respectively).

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