This site is intended for health professionals only

30% of children "still in poverty"

Almost 30% of seven-year-olds in the UK are from poor families, according to research.

The Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) completed by the Institute of Education has revealed that government efforts have failed to eradicate child poverty.

Researchers discovered that children born into single-parent families, homes with unemployed parents and from some ethnic minorities are more likely to be living in poverty.

In the study it was revealed that 29.6% of families are living on less than 60% of an average family's weekly income, which is £330 a week - the average figures are based around a family of two parents and two children.

Around 20% of UK families are living in such severe poverty that their weekly income is lower than 50% of the national average, leaving them with just £250 per week.

The average British family takes home £563 a week.

The study found that the make-up of a child's family was a strong indicator of poverty.

Professor Heather Joshi, the study's director, explained that despite the efforts of the government there are still children living in poverty.

He said: "The incidence of income poverty for the Millennium cohort families has not changed appreciably over the first seven years of the children's lives.

"Despite government efforts to eradicate child poverty almost three in 10 children are still in poor families at age seven.

"It's particularly disappointing that around one in five seven-year-olds is in severe poverty - on incomes below half the national average."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Institute of Education