New figures reveal nearly half of children are living in poverty in some parts of the UK

Posted 8 November 2016

The End Child Poverty coalition releases new figures on child poverty in the UK, arguing that welfare cuts have exacerbated the problem

The End Child Poverty coalition has today published new figures providing a new Child Poverty map of the UK.  There are more than 3 and a half million children living in poverty in the UK, and the new figures reveal that whilst child poverty exists in every part of the country, as many as 47% of children are living in poverty in some areas – compared to one in ten in others.

The local child poverty estimates are broken down by parliamentary constituency, local authority and ward. Child poverty is the highest in large cities, particularly in London, Birmingham and Manchester.  As Table 1 illustrates, among the twenty parliamentary constituencies with the highest levels of childhood poverty, seven are located in London, three in Birmingham, and three in Manchester.

The coalition of charities, faith groups and unions is warning that the benefits freeze in place until the end of the decade will mean that as prices rise, low income families will find it increasingly hard to pay for the same basic essentials.

At the same time, recent cuts to in work support under Universal Credit further penalise low income working families – pushing more working families below the poverty line.

End Child Poverty is calling on the Government to use the upcoming Autumn Statement to end the freeze on children’s benefits, and to reverse the sharp cuts being introduced to in-work benefits under Universal Credit.

Table 1          Top 20 parliamentary constituencies with highest levels of child poverty across the UK


Constituency % of children in poverty 2015

(after housing costs)

1.     Birmingham, Ladywood 47.3%
2.     Manchester Central 44.8%
3.     Poplar and Limehouse 43.7%
4.     Birmingham, Hodge Hill 43.7%
5.     Bethnal Green and Bow 43.2%
6.     Manchester, Gorton 42.0%
7.     Leeds Central 41.8%
8.     Hackney South and Shoreditch 40.9%
9.     Westminster North 40.6%
10.   Birmingham, Hall Green 40.5%
11.   Blackley and Broughton 40.3%
12.   Liverpool, Riverside 40.2%
13.   Middlesbrough 39.9%
14.   Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough 39.7%
15.   Vauxhall 39.6%
16.   Bermondsey and Old Southwark 39.5%
17.   Nottingham East 39.5%
18.   Glasgow Central 39.2%
19.   Edmonton 39.2%
20.   Nottingham North 39.0%


Table 2          Top 20 local authorities with highest levels of child poverty across the UK


Local Authority % of children in poverty 2015

(after housing costs)

1.     Tower Hamlets 43.5%
2.     Manchester 40.0%
3.     Westminster 37.7%
4.     Islington 37.7%
5.     Newham 37.5%
6.     Birmingham 37.4%
7.     Hackney 37.1%
8.     Middlesbrough 37.0%
9.     Nottingham 37.0%
10.   Southwark 36.7%
11.   Barking and Dagenham 36.6%
12.   Lambeth 36.1%
13.   Leicester 35.9%
14.   Blackpool 35.5%
15.   Kingston upon Hull, City of 35.4%
16.   Camden 35.2%
17.   Sandwell 34.9%
18.   Lewisham 34.7%
19.   Waltham Forest 34.6%
20.   Wolverhampton 34.6%

The parliamentary constituencies with the lowest levels of child poverty are Gordon, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, Sheffield Hallam, and York Outer, with figures between 9 and 10 per cent.  The constituency of Theresa May (Maidenhead) is among the 20 with the lowest child poverty.

Chair of End Child Poverty Sam Royston said:

“As the Prime Minister has rightly recognised, this is not a country that works for everyone. In every community, there are children being denied the happy childhoods and the good start in life other children take for granted.  Our children are now twice as likely to be poor as our pensioners.

“Many families who are just about managing today, won’t be managing tomorrow if Universal Credit leaves them with fewer pounds in their pocket, and if rising costs of living means their money doesn’t stretch as far as it used to.

“This month’s Autumn Statement is a major opportunity for the new government to act to help these families. We urge the Chancellor to reverse the significant cuts to Universal Credit targeted at working families and, at the very least, shield children’s benefits from inflation.”