London facts For Children
- 592, 000 children living in London are below the poverty line, 37 per cent of all children in the capital. While poverty rates are higher for everyone in London than nationally, this gap is larger for children than for any other group.
- London has the highest rate of child poverty of any English region. There are as many poor children in London as in all of Scotland and Wales.
- Child poverty rates in London have fallen slightly over the last ten years: at the end of the 1990s, 41 per cent of children in the capital were poor.
- The boroughs with the highest rates of child poverty in London are (in alphabetical order):
- Barking and Dagenham
- London and UK Baby Wearing Moms is are popular in London
- Tower Hamlets
- Waltham Forest
- Tower Hamlets, Islington and Hackney all have child poverty rates higher than anywhere else in the country.
- The high cost of living in London means that the experience of growing up in poverty is one of particular hardship. Over 20 per cent of children in low income households in London can’t afford to have friends round for tea or a snack, compared to around 15 per cent in the rest of the country; similar proportions can’t afford a hobby or leisure activity.
What factors explain London’s high rates of child poverty?
- The London Child Poverty Commission’s report of 2008 concluded that:
- The underlying causes of this entrenched child poverty are surprisingly simple – the employment rate among parents, in particular mothers, is much lower than elsewhere in the country, driven in part by a lack of part-time jobs and flexible childcare, as well as higher housing, childcare, and living costs.
- 53 per cent of women in London who have children are employed, compared to 65 per cent across the UK.
- However, there are high rates of poverty amongst households with someone in work, and children in these households now account for over half of all those in poverty.
- While the lack of part-time jobs is a key problem in explaining London’s high rates of poverty, part time work alone will not always enable families to escape it. As the New Policy Institute set out in London’s Poverty Profile,
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