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Borough has the highest number of children living in poverty, study shows

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 October 2020

The latest child poverty statistics have been released. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Images

The latest child poverty statistics have been released. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

Newham has the highest number of children living in poverty in the capital, a study shows.

Figures released on Wednesday, October 14 by the End Child Poverty coalition reveal that a total of 39,638 children were living in poverty in 2018-19.

This puts the borough ahead of second highest Tower Hamlets (35,725) and Croydon (32,647).

The Loughborough University research shows that even before the pandemic London boroughs dominated the list of UK authorities where child poverty is highest, with 14 of the top 20 hotspot boroughs in the capital.

Anna Feuchtwang, who chairs End Child Poverty, said: “This new data reveals the true extent of the hardship experienced by families on low incomes – the overwhelming majority of which were working households before the pandemic.

“The children affected are on a cliff edge, and the pandemic will only sweep them further into danger.”

While Newham saw the highest number, Tower Hamlets has the second highest percentage of children in poverty in London (55.4 per cent) with Newham on 50.3pc.

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London’s child poverty rate rose to 39pc in 2018-2019 up from 37pc the year before. It is the highest of any UK region.

Anna Feuchtwang from End Child Poverty and the National Children’s Bureau. Picture: ECPAnna Feuchtwang from End Child Poverty and the National Children’s Bureau. Picture: ECP

The study shows that the cost of housing is a driver of child poverty in the capital

If housing costs are ignored, the child poverty rate tends to be lower. However, if they are factored in rates can soar.

In a table of child poverty by constituencies, West Ham appears in fourth (52.5pc) and East Ham eighth (51.3pc).

The coalition called on the government to recognise the scale of the problem and its impact on children’s lives.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “There are 100,000 fewer children living in absolute poverty than in 2009/10 and making sure every child gets the best start in life is central to our efforts to level up opportunity across the country.

“We have already taken significant steps to do this by raising the living wage, ending the benefit freeze and injecting more than £9.3billion into the welfare system to help those in most need.”

The research was carried out using data from the Department for Work and Pensions, the Valuation Office Agency and the Understanding Society survey.


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