Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration, Roderic O’Gorman T.D., today announced the publication of his Department’s report: ‘Income, Poverty and Deprivation among Children: A Statistical Baseline Analysis’
This report is the first output published by the Department under the Child-specific Poverty Research Programme, initiated in late 2019. It draws from existing data and literature to provide a ‘baseline’ understanding of what we know about the situation of children living in poverty. It describes families’ financial circumstances at different income levels, providing insights into the depth of poverty and movements into and out of poverty from 2011 to 2018. It also identifies the main risk factors for experiencing child poverty.
The national child poverty target seeks to lift over 70,000 children (aged 0-17) out of consistent poverty by 2020, a reduction of at least two-thirds on the 2011 level. By 2018, the consistent poverty rate for children had decreased from 9.3 per cent in 2011 to 7.7 per cent, a reduction of 1.6 percentage points.
The report shows that child poverty rates have reduced quite substantially for young children, down 12.2 percentage points between 2010 and 2018, and for young adults, down 10.3 percentage points. In 2018, Ireland had the lowest poverty rate among children 0-5 in the EU. Those aged 6-11, however, show a concerning trend of increasing income poverty and consistent poverty.
Delma Byrne, one of the report’s authors, commented:
"While child poverty rates in Ireland have shown some improvement more recently, poverty among children continues to be a concern, particularly among school-age children. Reaching the child poverty reduction target will be challenging, and requires urgent policy attention, particularly given the adverse economic context as a result of the pandemic."
Minister O’Gorman said:
"While we have made real progress in Ireland, we know that poverty continues to steal childhoods and children’s futures, and undermines the economic, social and political well-being of the State.
“Poverty affects not only children’s material living conditions, but also their sense of belonging and the opportunities they have to fully participate in society. Poverty affects children’s futures as empowered, civically engaged, healthy and fulfilled adults.”
In order to strengthen our efforts to end child poverty, the Minister said:
“We must deepen and broaden our understanding of it. ‘Child poverty’ as currently defined and measured is about children living in households experiencing poverty and deprivation. Children and young people are, as individuals, effectively ‘invisible’ in official measures."