Skip to main content

Children: Poverty

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children were in absolute low-income households in each year since 1997; and what proportion of all children these figures represented in each such year, broken down by age. (204648)

The most common measure of low income used to capture poverty is individuals living in households with an income below 60 per cent. of contemporary median income, adjusted to take account of family size and composition. Analysis of low-income households can be found in the annual National Statistics publication Households Below Average Income (HBAI).

The Government's preferred measure of absolute low income poverty is defined as being in a household with a household income of less than 60 per cent. of the 1998-99 median income held constant in real terms.

Available information is shown in the following tables.

Children have been split by age into four age bands. This is in line with the age breakdown presented in the HBAI publication.

Table 1: Number of children in absolute low income households (before housing costs)

Coverage

Number of children (millions)

GB

1997-98

3.5

UK

1998-99

3.4

1999-2000

3.1

2000-01

2.5

2001-02

2.0

2002-03

1.8

2003-04

1.8

2004-05

1.7

2005-06

1.6

Source:

Households Below Average Income, 1997-98 to 2005-06

Table 2: Number of children in absolute low income households (after housing costs)

Coverage

Number of children (millions)

GB

1997-98

4.4

UK

1998-99

4.4

1999-2000

4.1

2000-01

3.6

2001-02

3.0

2002-03

2.7

2003-04

2.5

2004-05

2.3

2005-06

2.4

Source:

Households Below Average Income, 1997-98 to 2005-06

Table 3: Children in absolute low income households as a proportion of all children and by specific age bands (before housing costs)

Percentage

Age

Coverage

0 to 4

5 to 10

11 to 15

16 to 18

All children

GB

1997-98

8

10

7

2

28

1998-99

8

10

7

2

26

1999-2000

7

8

6

2

23

2000-01

6

6

6

2

19

2001-02

4

5

5

1

15

UK

2002-03

4

4

4

2

14

2003-04

4

4

5

1

14

2004-05

3

4

4

1

13

2005-06

3

4

4

1

13

Source:

Households Below Average Income, 1997-98 to 2005-06

Table 4: Children in absolute low income households as a proportion of all children and by specific age bands (after housing costs)

Percentage

Age

Coverage

0 to 4

5 to 10

11 to 15

16 to 18

All children

GB

1997-98

10

13

9

3

34

1998-99

10

12

9

3

34

1999-00

10

10

8

2

31

2000-01

8

9

8

2

27

2001-02

7

8

7

2

23

UK

2002-03

6

7

6

2

21

2003-04

6

6

6

2

20

2004-05

5

5

6

2

18

2005-06

6

6

5

2

19

Notes:

1. The reference period for households below average income figures is single financial years.

2. A child is defined as anyone aged under 16 or an unmarried 16 to 18-year-old in full-time non-advanced education.

3. The information shown in Tables 1 and 2 is for the United Kingdom from 1998-99 to 2005-06, and for Great Britain for 1997-98. Data for Northern Ireland has been imputed for 1998-99 to 2001-02. The information shown in Tables 3 and 4 is for the United Kingdom from 2002-03 to 2005-06, and for Great Britain for 1997-98 to 2001-02, as data for Northern Ireland has only been imputed for the headline statistics.

4. The income measures used to derive the estimates shown employ the same methodology as the Department for Work and Pensions publication ‘Households Below Average Income’ (HBAI) series, which uses disposable household income, adjusted (or ‘equivalised’) for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living.

5. The figures are based on OECD equalisation factors.

6. Figures have been presented on both a before housing cost and after housing cost basis. For before housing cost, housing costs (such as rent, water rates, mortgage interest payments, structural insurance payments and ground rent and service charges) are not deducted from income, while for after housing cost they are. This means that after housing cost incomes will generally be lower than before housing cost.

7. Numbers of children have been rounded to the nearest 100,000 children, while proportions of children have been rounded to the nearest percentage point. Ages have been split into four bands because of sample sizes. Total numbers of children are in line with National Statistics mid-year estimates.

8. Small year-on-year movements should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response.

Source:

Households Below Average Income, 1997-98 to 2005-06

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children living in relative poverty were in families with (a) three or more children and (b) four or more children in each year since 1997; and what proportion of (i) children in poverty and (ii) all children these figures represented in each such year. [204649]

The most common measure of low income used to capture poverty and the measure preferred by the Government is individuals living in households with an income below 60 per cent. of contemporary median income, adjusted to take account of family size and composition. Analysis of low-income households can be found in the annual National Statistics publication, Households Below Average Income (HBAI).

Available information is shown in the following tables.

Table 1: Number and proportion of children in relative low income households (Before Housing Costs)

Number of children in the family

Three or more

Four or more

Coverage

Number in relative low income households (millions)

Percentage of all children in relative low income households

Percentage of all children

Number in relative low income households (millions)

Percentage of all children in relative low income house holds

Percentage of all children

GB

1997-98

1.7

49

13

0.7

22

6

1998-99

1.7

50

13

0.7

22

6

1999-2000

1.5

47

12

0.7

22

6

2000-01

1.4

46

11

0.6

21

5

2001-02

1.3

45

10

0.6

19

4

UK

2002-03

1.3

44

10

0.5

18

4

2003-04

1.2

42

9

0.5

19

4

2004-05

1.1

41

9

0.5

20

4

2005-06

1.1

41

9

0.5

17

4

Source: Households Below Average Income, 1997-98 to 2005-06.

Table 2: Number and proportion of children in relative low income households (After Housing Costs)

Number of children in the family

Three or more

Four or more

Coverage

Number in relative low income households (millions)

Percentage of all children in relative low income households

Percentage of all children

Number in relative low income households (millions)

Percentage of all children in relative low income households

Percentage of all children

GB

1997-98

1.9

45

15

0.8

19

6

1998-99

2.0

45

15

0.8

19

6

1999-2000

1.9

45

15

0.8

20

7

2000-01

1.7

44

14

0.7

18

5

2001-02

1.7

43

13

0.7

18

5

UK

2002-03

1.6

41

12

0.6

16

5

2003-04

1.5

40

12

0.7

18

5

2004-05

1.4

39

11

0.6

17

5

2005-06

1.4

38

11

0.6

15

4

Notes: 1. The reference period for HBAI figures is single financial years. 2. A child is defined as anyone aged under 16 or an unmarried 16 to 18-year-old in full-time non-advanced education. 3. A family is defined as a single adult or a couple living as married and any dependant children. 4. The information shown in Tables 1 and 2 is for the United Kingdom from 2002-03 to 2005-06, and for Great Britain for 1997-98 to 2001-02. 5. The income measures used to derive the estimates shown employ the same methodology as the Department for Work and Pensions publication “Households Below Average Income” (HBAI) series, which uses disposable household income, adjusted (or “equivalised”) for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living. 6. The figures are based on OECD equalisation factors. 7. Figures have been presented on both a Before Housing Cost and After Housing Cost basis. For Before Housing Cost, housing costs (such as rent, water rates, mortgage interest payments, structural insurance payments and ground rent and service charges) are not deducted from income, while for After Housing Cost they are. This means that After Housing Cost incomes will generally be lower than Before Housing Cost. 8. Numbers of children have been rounded to the nearest 100,000 children, while proportions of children have been rounded to the nearest percentage point. 9. Small year-on-year movements should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response. Source: Households Below Average Income, 1997-98 to 2005-06.