Over a Million UK Children in Poverty as Destitution Surges

A recent study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) reveals that over a million children in the UK are living in poverty, alongside almost four million people in the most severe form of poverty.

The study highlights a 61% increase in the number of Britons experiencing ‘destitution’ between 2019 and 2022.

‘Destitution’ is characterized by the inability to meet basic physical needs such as food, warmth, shelter, and clothing due to a lack of essentials or an income too low to afford these necessities.

Household incomes fell below a minimum level after housing costs, ranging from £95 ($115) a week for a single adult to £205 ($249) a week for a couple with two children.

More than half of destitute households had a weekly income of less than £85 after housing expenses, with a quarter reporting no income.


The study also highlights a significant increase in needy children, which has nearly tripled since 2017, representing a 186% rise.

Many adults reported being unable to have more than one meal a day, often going hungry to ensure their children could eat.

About 61% of respondents stated they had gone hungry in the past month and relied on food banks or family members for groceries.

Over half of destitute adults (51%) regularly went without hygiene and cleaning products, as well as essential toiletries like shampoo and toothpaste, with a heavy reliance on food banks for these items.

Most adults could not afford clothing and footwear, only purchasing necessities like school uniforms and children’s shoes.

These findings highlight the significant and troubling increase in poverty and deprivation in the UK, particularly among children and families.


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