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Poverty: Children

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 21 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps are being taken to reduce levels of relative child poverty in (a) the Vale of York and (b) England. (247608)

We have made substantial progress in tackling child poverty. 600,000 children have been lifted out of relative poverty since 1998-99. As a result of the support we have introduced, families with children in the poorest fifth of the population, including those in the Vale of York, are, on average, £4,100 a year better off than in 1997. The measures we announced in the pre-Budget report 2008 will increase this to £4,400 from April 2009. In addition, Government measures over the past two years will result in lifting around a further 500,000 children from relative poverty. Our plans for reducing levels of child poverty in England were set out in ‘Ending child poverty: everybody's business’ which is available in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children classified as being in relative child poverty were of (a) white, (b) Pakistani or Bangladeshi and (c) black non-Caribbean ethnicity in (i) the Vale of York and (ii) England in the latest period for which information is available. (247611)

Available information is given in the table. Child poverty statistics, published in the Households Below Average Income series, only allow a breakdown of the overall number of children in relative poverty at Government Office Region level or for Inner or Outer London. This means information for the Vale of York is not available.

Numbers of children living in households with incomes below 60 per cent. of median from 2004-05 to 2006-07 for white, Pakistani/Bangladeshi and black non-Caribbean ethnic groups, before housing costs, England

Ethnic group of household reference person

Number of children (million)





Black non-Caribbean



1. These statistics are based on Households Below Average Income, sourced from the Family Resources Survey.

2. Small differences should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response.

3. The reference period for Households Below Average Income figures are single financial years. Three sample years have been combined as regional single year estimates are subject to volatility.

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' series, which uses net disposable household income, adjusted (or "equivalised") for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living.

5. Incomes have been equivalised using OECD equivalisation factors.

6. Numbers of children have been rounded to the nearest 100,000 children.

7. Children have been classified according to the ethnic group of the household reference person. The household reference person is classified as the highest income householder without regard to gender. This is consistent with the Households below Average Income publication.


Households Below Average Income, 2006-07