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2.8 million UK children live in "severe poverty"

By Rachel Lawler
 
The number of children growing up in poverty in the UK is rising, according to new government data.
 
National statistics released this week show that there are now 4.1 million children living in poverty in the UK, including 2.8 million living in “severe poverty”.
 
Youngest children
Children are more likely to live in poverty than other members of the population and the youngest children are the most likely to live in poverty, with 53% of poor children aged five or under.
 
The statistics also demonstrate an increase in the number of children living in poverty that come from a working household. In 2017/18, 70% of children living in poverty lived in a working household – up from 58% in 2010/11.
 
Ambitious plans
Anna Feuchtwang, chair of End Child Poverty – a campaign group focused on improving conditions for children – and chief executive of the National Children’s Bureau, said: “We know that poverty restricts the life chances of children, so the implications of this new data are stark.[...]
 
“These children will have worse mental and physical health, will have shorter lives, will do less well in school and will have fewer opportunities in adulthood than their better off peers.
 
“It is time the government ended the freeze on benefits and drew up ambitious child poverty reduction plans to avert the growing crisis in the UK.”
 
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