Child Poverty

Childhood is short, yet the experiences we have shape the adults we become and the lives we lead. Children living in poverty live life on the margins, excluded from opportunities and often unable to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Poverty affects every aspect of a child’s life having short and long term consequences on their health, education outcomes and life chances.

Key statistics:

Some top line statistics from EU SILC 2015

  • In 2015, 11.5% of children (aged 0-17) lived in consistent poverty. Based on the 2011 census (the latest figure currently available for this age group) that equates to approximately 132,000 children. This is one in nine children – equivalent to the entire population of a county like Wicklow, or Mayo. There was no statistically significant change since 2014.
  • Consistent poverty means that these children are living in households with incomes below 60% of the national median income and experiencing deprivation based on the agreed 11 deprivation indicators. This can mean going 24 hours without a substantial meal or being cold because parents are unable to afford to heat the home. It means not having two strong pairs of shoes, or a warm jacket to keep out the cold.
  • Nearly three in five (58%) of lone parent households with one or more children experienced deprivation. Worryingly this is more than double the level of depravation experienced by families with two adults with children (25.2%).
  • In 2015 the annual average disposable income had increased from €18,864 in 2014 to €20,000. The concern is that lower income families are still struggling while it is the middle and high income earners are enjoying the recovery.
  • Those who are unemployed in 2015 face significantly higher risks of experiencing deprivation (45.5%) and consistent poverty (26.2%), and being at risk of poverty (43.5%), compared with the rest of the population.





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