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Child & Family Poverty

Key findings (published July 2016)

  • The published data (up to November 2013) suggests that 14,945 children in Wirral are living in poverty (up to age of 20 years) which is a reduction from 15,620 in 2012 and 17,615 in 2009. (HMRC, 2015)

  • This is 21.5% of all children in Wirral, a reduction from 22.4% in 2012 and 23.8% in 2011 (HMRC, 2015)

  • For England, the 2013 average is 18.0%, a reduction from 18.6% in 2012 and 20.1% in 2011 (HMRC, 2015)

  • There are very high concentrations of people living in poverty within Bidston, Birkenhead and Tranmere and Rock Ferry. These areas correlate strongly with other known deprivation markers.

  • Heswall, Clatterbridge and Greasby, Frankby and Irby all have figures below 5%, or less than 1 in 20 children living in low income families in 2013. This compares to around 40%, or 8 in 20 children in Bidston and St. James, Birkenhead and Tranmere, Seacombe. (HMRC, 2015)

  • Alternate calculations highlight potential impact of in-work poverty happening to Wirral families

  • The key driver for child and family poverty is lack of sufficient income from parental employment, which restricts the amount of earnings a household has. This is not just about worklessness, but also working insufficient hours and/or low pay (HM Government, 2014)

  • For poor children growing up to be poor adults, the main driver is poor child educational outcomes, primarily through the influence on future employment outcomes and earnings.(HM Government, 2014)

  • 2013 data sees that number of Lower Super Output Areas fall to only 8 above the 50% mark of children in low income families this still equates to 1 in 2 living in childhood poverty in some of the most disadvantaged areas. (HMRC, 2015)

  • The highest ranked 10 Wirral Lower Super Output Areas have 5 areas within Bidston and St. James ward. (HMRC, 2015)

  • Birkenhead East Float is the number 1 most employment deprived Lower Super Output Area in England in 2015, out of 32,844 Lower Super Output Areas (IMD, 2015)

  • Only 7 Wirral Wards have an average household income above the England average (Mosaic Public Sector, 2014)

  • Heswall has an average household income twice that of Bidston St. James. (Mosaic Public Sector, 2014)

  • Part time employment accounts for a higher proportion of residents in Bidston St. James, Rock Ferry, Seacombe and Birkenhead and Tranmere (Census, 2011)

  • Wirral has a long term worklessness rate of 13.1% which is below the Liverpool City Region average but higher than North West at 11.2% and substantially higher than England at 9.4% (DWP, 2015)

  • In terms of Wirral residents with no formal qualifications then data suggests that Wirral continues to improve since 2004 with an almost 50% drop from 33,900 with no qualification to 17,500 in 2014 and Wirral compares very favourably with 9.0% as this is below North West (10.6%) and only slightly above Great Britain at 8.8%

Child and Family Poverty section (July 2016)


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Further information

Improving Life Chances: A New Child and Family Poverty Strategy for Wirral (March 2016)
Wirral partners have developed a collaborative and robust response to the issues faced by those families who find themselves with low incomes. A strategy has been completed that outlines the work that will be undertaken over the coming months and years. To inform the Strategy Development Group a variety of underpinning data was collated and presented in the document below. 

Wirral Children in Low Income Families (December 2015)
A summary of local data and information used to inform the strategy group developments sessions. 

Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK: 2017
This report examines changes in the distribution of household incomes in the UK, and the determinants and consequences of recent trends

What explains the growth in 'never-worked' households? (Joseph Rowntree Foundation) (September 2015)

The number of homes where no one has ever worked has doubled in little more than a decade. But is this a sign of growing ‘welfare dependency’ or the result of other factors? This report looks at the characteristics of ‘never-worked’ households and considers the possible reasons for the increase. It finds that most never-worked household are lone parent households and younger single people; there is little or no evidence of a problem of ‘intergenerational worklessness’. 


Child Poverty and Smoking (BMC: Public Health Journal (June 2015)
In 2011/12 approximately 2.3 million children, 17% of children in the UK, were estimated to be in relative poverty. This research suggests that 1.1 million children - almost half of all children in poverty - were estimated to be living in poverty with at least one parent who smokes with the report highlighting tobacco control interventions that effectively enable low income smokers to quit can play an important role in reducing the financial burden of child poverty.

Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s State of the nation 2014 report
The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s second annual report assesses what the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments are doing on child poverty and social mobility, what progress is being made and what is likely to happen in the future. It also examines the role of employers, councils, colleges, schools, universities, parents and charities and makes a number of recommendations for action. 

Estimating the effect of child poverty on health in Wirral (2011)
Child poverty has been shown to have long lasting negative effects on health throughout the life course of a person. The objective of this work is to quantify the impact of childhood poverty on health in Wirral Primary Care Trust. To reach this objective we reviewed the literature on negative health outcomes associated with child poverty at different stages in life and then use the evidence to quantify the burden of childhood poverty on health in Wirral.


Key information sources for you to consider: