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Poverty: Children

Volume 505: debated on Friday 5 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children were living in poverty in each local authority area in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland in (i) 1997 and (ii) the most recent period for which figures are available. (314269)

Estimates of poverty for children are published in the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series. These figures only allow a breakdown of the overall numbers in poverty at Government Office Region level. Therefore, information is not available for the local authority areas.

However, a local child poverty indicator—including constituency level information—has been developed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs to try and replicate this national measure as closely as possible. It captures the number and proportion of children in families in receipt of out of work benefits, or in receipt of tax credits where their reported income is less than 60 per cent of median income. Details can be found via the HMRC website:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/child_poverty.htm

The Public Service Agreement to halve child poverty by 2010-11 as a step towards eradicating it by 2020 uses a headline indicator of the proportion of children in households with an income below 60 per cent of contemporary household median income before housing costs.

The following table shows the three-year average volumes of children with incomes below 60 per cent. of contemporary median (before housing costs) between 1997-2000 and 2005-08.

Numbers of children living in households with less than 60 per cent of contemporary median income, by Government Office Region and Country, Before Housing Costs, 1997-98 to 1999-2000200506 to2007-08

Government Office Region/Country

1997-98 to 1999-2000

2005-06 to 2007-08

England

2.8

2.4

North East

0.2

0.1

North West

0.5

0.4

Yorkshire and the Humber

0.4

0.3

East Midlands

0.2

0.2

West Midlands

0.3

0.3

East of England

0.2

0.2

London

0.4

0.4

South East

0.3

0.3

South West

0.2

0.2

Scotland

0.3

0.2

Wales

0.2

0.2

Northern Ireland

n/a

0.1

n/a = Indicates figures are not available. Data for Northern Ireland are only available on the Family Resources Survey from 2002-03.

1. These statistics are based on Households Below Average Income, sourced from the Family Resources Survey, both of which are available in the Library.

2. Small changes 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 disposable household income, adjusted (or 'equivalised') for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living.

5. For the Households Below Average Income series, incomes have been equivalised using Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) equivalisation factors.

6. Information for adults includes those above state pension age.

7. Numbers of children in low-income households have been rounded to the nearest 100,000 children.

Source:

Households Below Average Income, DWP