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6.2  Child poverty

A child is defined as living in poverty if their household income is less than 60% of the median average income.[1] Child poverty is a major source of inequalities which can persist throughout life. Children who grow up in poverty are four times as likely to be poor adults, becoming the parents of the next generation of children living in poverty. A child growing up in poverty has a greater likelihood of experiencing health problems and of accumulating physical and mental health problems throughout life.

In South Gloucestershire, more than 6,000 children are defined as living in poverty (one in ten on average). Rates of child poverty vary considerably between wards (Figure 3). The child poverty rate is one in five children in the three wards with the highest rates and less than one in 20 children in the three wards with the lowest rates.

[1] Public Health Outcomes Framework

Child poverty in SG by ward

Figure 3. Child poverty in South Gloucestershire by ward

Source: HM Revenue & Customs – Personal tax credits: Children in low-income families local measure snapshot as at August 2012

The main drivers of child poverty are unemployment and low pay. Tackling child poverty is a priority both nationally[1] and locally. South Gloucestershire’s Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2013-2016 identifies ‘Reducing Childhood Poverty’ as a key issue under its priority theme of Tackling Health Inequalities. A needs assessment is underway to inform South Gloucestershire’s Child Poverty Strategy.

Two toddlers eating healthy snacks

For more information please contact Lindsey Thomas, Specialist Public Health Manager lindsey.thomas@southglos.gov.uk

[1] Child poverty strategy 2014 to 2017, Department for Education 2014. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/child-poverty-strategy-2014-to-2017 )