Labour: More than half of black children are growing up in poverty

Anneliese Dodds speaking at the Labour Party conference.
Anneliese Dodds speaking at the Labour Party conference.
Stefan Rousseau
Samantha Haynes

By Samantha Haynes

Published: 03/01/2022

- 13:42

Updated: 03/01/2022

- 14:07

Anneliese Dodds MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, said 'the Conservatives should be ashamed' despite the launch of £500m Household Support Fund

More than half of black children in the UK are growing up in poverty, analysis of official data shows.

Some 53% of black children were living in poverty in 2019-20, up from 42% a decade earlier, according to Labour Party analysis of statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

This represents one in 10 children, and more than double the rate for white children, which stands at 26%.

The number of black children growing up in poverty has more than doubled since the Conservatives took power in 2010, according to the analysis, first reported by the Guardian.

The number has increased from just over 205,000 in 2010-11 to around 412,000 in 2019-20, amid a rise in the overall number of black children.

Labour said that “Conservative incompetence and denialism about the existence of structural racism are driving black children into poverty”.

It called for a new Race Equality Act to tackle structural racism and for the Government to implement 20 recommendations made by Baroness Doreen Lawrence in a report last year.

Anneliese Dodds MP, shadow secretary of state for women and equalities, said: “The Conservatives should be ashamed that more than half of black children are growing up in poverty this Christmas, more than double the number when they took office.

“There is little wonder that child poverty has skyrocketed over the last decade when Conservative ministers have done so little to tackle the structural inequalities driving it.

“More than a year since Labour’s Lawrence Review into the disproportionate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Black, Asian and minority ethnic people, it’s also unacceptable that they have still not implemented its 20 recommendations.”

The data also shows that 61% of Bangladeshi children and 55% of Pakistani children were growing up in poverty in 2019-20.

The proportion of white children living in poverty was 26%, up from 24% in 2010-11.

Some 34% of Indian children were living in poverty in 2010-11, falling to 27% in 2019-20.

The proportion fell from 47% to 12% over the same time period for Chinese children.

The Government said it is committed to ending poverty and putting more money in the pockets of hard-working families.

A Government spokesman said: “The latest official figures show there were 300,000 fewer children of all backgrounds in poverty after housing costs than in 2010 and we continue to provide extensive support to reduce this number further.

“This includes putting £1,000 more per year on average into the pockets of the lowest earners through changes to Universal Credit, increasing the minimum wage next April to £9.50 per hour and helping with the cost of fuel bills.

“Our £500m Household Support Fund is helping the most vulnerable with essential costs this winter, and councils have been given an extra £65m to support low income households with rent arrears.”

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