Record number of UK children in poverty

21 March 2024
Three in 10 UK children now live in poverty.

Data released today show 4.3 million children in the UK are living in poverty. This is 100,000 more than last year and the highest number since comparable records began in 2002.

The Households Below Average Income figures, from the Department for Work and Pensions, have increased from 3.6 million in 2010/11. Seven in 10 of these children live in working families.

Poverty has not only spread, it has also deepened. 2.9 million children are now in ‘deep poverty’, where household income after housing costs is below 50% of median after-housing-costs income. This is 600,000 more children than in 2010/11.

The numbers expose further inequalities, as children in Asian and Black families are around twice as likely to be in poverty than their white peers. Lone parent families and families with a disabled member are also more likely than average to be living in poverty.

We fully support the calls of the End Child Poverty Coalition, including to end the two-child limit on benefits and remove the benefits cap. These changes would lift 250,000 children out of poverty and reduce the depth of poverty for hundreds of thousands more. We also call on the government to invest in school meals for all to provide a nutritional safety net, reduce inequalities and save families hundreds of pounds per year.