New figures reveal over 28% of Welsh children are living in poverty

The End Child Poverty coalition has today published figures providing a new Child Poverty map of the UK. The new figures reveal that there are now constituencies within the UK where more than half of children are growing up in poverty - compared to one in ten, in the areas with the lowest child poverty rates.

In Wales, the figures show that over 28% of children are living in poverty, and in some constituency, this rises to a 1/3 of all children. Some of the most deprived areas of the UK have seen the biggest increases in child poverty since the coalition's last release of local child poverty figures in December 2015. Increases of 10 percentage points in some areas demonstrate the growing crisis of child poverty in the UK. 

As price rises risk pushing ever larger numbers of children below the poverty line, the coalition is calling on the Chancellor to end the freeze on children's benefits - currently in place until the end of the decade - so that families no longer see living standards squeezed as prices rise.

In response to the new figures, Dr Mair Parry, Officer for Wales for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), said:

“These statistics, coupled with the findings from the RCPCH’s ‘State of Child Health: One Year On’ report which was published only yesterday, are a startling reminder of the dire circumstances families across Wales find themselves in thanks to poverty.

“Poverty blights the lives of 200,000 children in Wales and affects every aspect of their life. It has an impact on education and employment prospects and increases the likelihood of obesity and mental health issues. Welsh Government have outlined how they hope to tackle this in its Child Poverty Strategy but making inroads will take time. In the short term, Welsh Government should continue to extend the Flying Start project so all children living in poverty have access to the enhanced services and support it provides. A focus also needs to be placed on early intervention – equipping professionals with the skills to identify a child or family that need help at the earliest opportunity.

“Putting support where it is needed the most will break down barriers, will enhance the lives of thousands of children and create a fairer and healthier, more productive society. I hope today’s report acts as a wake up call to Welsh Government so we can begin to bridge this gap.”

To find out more or view the report visit The End Child Poverty coalition's website.