Children in low income families in relation to deprivation

Children low inc GIMD 2018 19Click on image to enlarge

In 2018/19, levels of children in low income families in relation to deprivation varied between 40.1% in the most deprived areas and 7.5% in the least deprived areas of the city.

This gradient may be expected, since these figures are already divided by deprivation level. However, not every step upwards in deprivation decile has a corresponding rise in children in low income families. Levels in the third most deprived decile are almost exactly the same as those in the second most deprived decile. The gradient is more consistent and steeper in the more affluent areas.

Trends in children in low income families in relation to deprivation Children low inc GIMD trend

Click on image to enlarge

Comparing these estimates to previous years, the proportions of children who live in low income families  rose in all deciles between 2017/18 and 2018/19, with the rises being steepest in the more deprived areas. By 2018/19, the levels of children in low income families had risen to their highest levels in 5 years across all ten deciles of deprivation, from the most deprived areas to the least deprived areas. 

Levels of children living in low income families in the most affluent decile are similar to those observed in 2014/15.  The overall gradient between deciles steepened until 2017/18 and lessened slightly in 2018/19 – although this is because figures rose in almost every decile.


The data for this graph were provided by HM Revenue & Customs and the Department of Work and Pensions.

The way that low income family statistics are calculated has been updated in 2020, with new estimates produced for each year from 2014/15 – 2018/19. The figures presented here are for children aged 0-16.

Previous calculations did not account for families claiming universal credit, only for families claiming legacy benefits. This missed a growing proportion of families in the UK. Those calculations also used child benefit data to estimate total child populations. This missed any families who did not claim child benefit. The new statistics include universal credit claimants and use mid-year population estimates. They are also calibrated against regional data and so are more consistent with the larger scale picture of low income families than previous estimates were.

These rates are estimates of the proportion of 0-15 year olds living in low income families. This means that, although they provide an indication of the approximate propensity for children to be living in low income families, there is a margin of uncertainty associated with the rates as they are derived from estimates of children populations at mid-year and counts of children in low income based on age as at 31 March 2019.