Current Students and Staff

// University News

16 Jan 2020

One in four children growing up in homes with “very low income”

A quarter of all children in the UK are growing up in very low-income households, according to a new report into minimum socially acceptable standards of living.

Analysis undertaken by Loughborough University’s Centre for Research into Social Policy (CRSP) has revealed that 3.5 million young people are living in households which fall below 75% of the Minimum Income Standard (MIS).

The number has risen by more than 250,000 compared to last year.

The MIS is based on what members of the public consider people need to have a minimum standard of living, which includes things like food, clothing, household bills and travel, but also provides enough for people to take part in the world around them.

It establishes a threshold below which households struggle to make ends meet.

The report, Households Below a Minimum Income Standard: 2008/09 to 2017/18, out today, was funded and published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), and also looked at working-age adults and pensioners.

The groups were broken down into:

  • Children with lone parents
  • Children with couple parents
  • Parents
  • Single working-age adults, no children
  • Couple working-age adults, no children
  • Single pensioners
  • Couple pensioners

The analysis showed that 18.7 million people (28.9%) fall below the MIS threshold and 11.2 million people (17.4%) are living below 75% of this income level.

It also revealed that 5.8 million children are living below MIS.

Dr Juliet Stone, one of the authors of the report, said: “Families with children have been hit especially hard by the ongoing erosion of state support.

“At the same time, the costs of essentials such as public transport and energy have continued to increase, meaning that over a quarter of the population of children in the UK are now living in households with incomes significantly below the Minimum Income Standard.

“What’s more, it is increasingly the case the families struggle to make ends meet despite being in work – half of all lone parents in full-time work do not have the income needed for a minimum socially acceptable standard of living.

“These latest findings suggest that the policies such as the freeze in Child Benefit and tax credits are continuing to have a profound, negative effect on the living standards of children, and across the UK population.”

The report was co-authored by Matt Padley.

For the full story, visit the Loughborough University News pages.