Belfast Telegraph

More than 100,000 children living in poverty in Northern Ireland

The average household income was £420 a week or £21,900 per year

By Claire Williamson

More than 100,000 children in Northern Ireland are living in poverty - and the number is on the rise.

New figures revealed in the Northern Ireland Poverty Bulletin have revealed that twenty-five percent of children were living in poverty in the year 2014/15.

This in an increase compared to 23% on the previous year.

The report by the Department for Communities determines that an individual is considered to be in relative poverty if they are living in a household with an income below 60% of UK median income in the year in question.

It also revealed that the average household income was £420 a week or £21,900 per year - which is a three percent increase on the previous year.

Of working-age adults, 226,400 were in poverty which is an increase from 20% to 21% on the previous year.

Meanwhile 22% of individuals were in poverty in 2014/15 which is approximately 395,100 individuals - which is also a one percent increase from 20% in the previous year.

The number of pensioners living in poverty has decreased.

A total of 59,200 (20%) were in poverty in 2014/15 which is a drop from 21% in the previous year.

Commenting on figures Peter Bryson,  from Save the Children said: “It’s unacceptable that 28% of young children in Northern Ireland are growing up in poverty.  Today’s figures show an increase in child poverty of 2%.

"We know that children under five are more likely to live in poverty than their older peers. The legacy for these children starts in the early years and will be lifelong."

"Every child deserves the best start in life. But in Northern Ireland today, too many young children are going without the support they need to reach their potential. They’re falling behind before they even get to school and that puts their life chances at risk. We know the early years are the ‘golden years’ for changing these odds.

"The Northern Ireland Executive must focus on early investment in children’s futures, by  offering  better support to  parents and ensuring all early years staff have what they need to deliver world-class services for children.”

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