independent

Friday 18 April 2014

21% of children living in poverty

Those in areas of Belfast such as Whiterock, Falls, Ardoyne and Shankill made up the majority of the 93,000 children living in poverty

More than a fifth of children in Northern Ireland live in households below the breadline, a new report has found.

Those in deprived areas of Belfast such as Whiterock, Falls, Ardoyne and Shankill made up the majority of the 93,000 children (21%) living in poverty, according to the Office of First and Deputy First Ministers.

The paper said urgent action is needed if the Stormont Executive is to meet its target of eradicating child poverty by 2020.

"Across government, thousands of actions take place to try to make progress against a wide range of objectives. Much of this work is beneficial, yet we are conscious that more needed to be done to achieve tangible progress against the statutory outcome," the document said.

Child poverty targets are based on those households earning 60% of the UK median income - £251 a week before housing costs and £215 a week after housing costs.

In annual terms this equates to earnings of £13,052 a year before housing fees are paid, or £11,180 afterwards.

The report - the second annual poverty strategy from OFMDFM - said children in lone-parent families are almost twice as likely to live in low-income households as those where there are two adults.

Around 17% of children in single-child families are in low-income homes compared with 27% where there are three or more children.

Families with mothers aged under 30 are much more likely to live in low-income households (37%) than those where the age of the mother is 40 or older (19%).

Catholic-headed households were also likely to be less well off than Protestant families.

Press Association

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