Continuing blight of child poverty

Significantly more children are growing up in poverty now than 40 years ago, says the National Children's Bureau in a new report. The report compares data on different aspects of children’s lives in the UK today with the experiences of children aged 11 in 1969, which were captured in Born to Fail, a National Child Development Study published in 1973. 

Key points

  • 3.5 million children are growing up in relative poverty today, compared to 2 million in 1969.
  • Children living in the most deprived areas are much less likely than those in affluent areas to have access to green space and places to play.
  • Children from poorer backgrounds continue to be more likely than better-off children to suffer from ill-health. Furthermore, boys living in deprived areas are three times more likely to be obese than boys growing up in affluent areas, and girls are twice as likely.
  • Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are much more likely to suffer an accidental injury in the home.
  • A child from a disadvantaged background is far less likely to do well in their GCSEs at age 16 than a child from the most well-off backgrounds.

The report says that a comparison with other developed nations shows a lack of ambition for children growing up in the UK – causing children to suffer unnecessarily, and risking these patterns of disadvantage becoming permanent features of society.

Greater Expectations: Raising Aspirations for Our Children, National Children's Bureau
LinksReport | NCB press release | Action for Children press release | Community Care report | Guardian report (1) | Guardian report (2)

Tweet this page