End Child Poverty recently released area level statistics detailing the reality of child poverty rates for 2019/2020, and changes to these rates over the past five years. The report states that the baseline of child poverty has risen significantly over recent years, with 4.3 million children living in families with less than 60% of the median income after housing costs in 2019/20, an increase of 200,000 2018/2019, and an increase of 500,000 over five years.
Registry Trust maintains the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines for the UK and Ireland and has access to live data on indebtedness at different geographical levels. Based on the idea that child poverty could be positively correlated with County Court Judgment (CCJ) rates through the joint causal factor of financial vulnerability, we thought it would be interesting to investigate this using Registry Trust data.
The graph below highlights the positive correlation between an increasing percentage of children in poverty (after housing costs) and increasing CCJs per 10,000 of the population in regions of England. Although the children themselves do not receive CCJs, they are likely living within a household with financial struggles. As a result, a member of the household receives a CCJ while the child/children live in a state of poverty.
Local Authority level data shows a similar pattern of an increasing percentage of children in poverty and CCJs in a population.
The table below shows the Local Authority with the highest % of children in poverty is Tower Hamlets, at 55.8%. The CCJ rate per 10,000 of the population in Tower Hamlets is similarly high, at 271. In both Tower Hamlets and Newham, over 50% of children are in poverty. Nine of the top 10 Local Authorities with the highest child poverty rates are in London.
Conversely, the Local Authority with the lowest % of children in child poverty is Elmbridge at just 12.4%, followed by Epsom and Ewell (13.6%), Hart (13.9%), and the Isle of Scilly (14.7%). These areas have low rates of CCJ per 10,000 of the population.
The maps below show CCJ rates per 10,000 of the population and the proportion of children in poverty across Local Authorities of England. The shades of yellow represent a low score for each variable, with red representing a high score. Generally, areas characterised by a low score in one variable often have a low score in the other.
Note: Some local authorities are missing due to the nature of the data
Relating back to a previous Registry Trust blog discussing ‘The link between emergency food parcels and CCJs’, a further thought is that Local Authorities with a high % of children in poverty and high CCJ rate may also be in greater need of access to food banks.
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