Our historic aim will be for ours to be the first generation to end child poverty forever, and it will take a generation. It is a twenty year mission, but I believe it can be done.
Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister
Poverty and Life Chances
- Poverty shortens lives. A boy in Manchester can expect to live seven years less than a boy in Barnet. A girl in Manchester can expect to live six years less than a girl in Kensington Chelsea and Westminster.
- Poor children are born too small; birth weight is on average 130 grams lower in children from social classes IV and V. Low birth weight is closely associated with infant death and chronic diseases in later life.
- Poverty shapes children's development. Before reaching his or her second birthday, a child from a poorer family is already more likely to show a lower level of attainment than a child from a better-off family. By the age of six a less able child from a rich family is likely to have overtaken an able child born into a poor family.
- Children aged up to 14 from unskilled families are 5 times more likely to die in an accident than children from professional families, and 15 times more likely to die in a fire at home.
- Children growing up in poverty are more likely to leave school at 16 with fewer qualifications.
- 2% of couples and 8% of lone parents cannot afford two pairs of shoes for each child.
- 12% of lone parents cannot afford celebrations with presents at special occasions. Mark Family and Children Study, 2004, www.dwp.gov.uk/asad/asd5/rrs2006.asp#facs2004.