There is strong evidence linking childhood poverty to poorer outcomes throughout childhood and later life, including lower educational attainment, poorer job prospects, lower earnings and lower life expectancy.
At a national level, four key measures of child poverty are published:
- Relative low income – children living in households whose income is less than 60% of the median income (after adjusting for household type and size)
- Combined low income and material deprivation – a combination of the level of income and also material aspects (for example whether children have been able to go on school trips, or can go swimming once a month)
- Absolute low income and persistent low income – this measures income compared to a fixed baseline
- Persistent low income – where relative low income persists for three> of the previous four years.
At a county level and below (e.g. local authority districts), only data on relative low income are available. Information is provided for children aged under 16 years, and also for all children (where young people under the age of 20 years are living at home either in full-time education or unemployed). Nationally, targets have been adopted for each of the four measures. For the relative low income measure, the national target is for less than 10% of children to be living in low income households by the year 2020.
In 2013, 12.1% of children under the age of 16 years in West Sussex were living in low income households. Within Crawley CCG area, the proportion of children living in low income households was 16.8% – significantly higher than West Sussex county.
The table below shows the number and proportion of children under 16 years of age living in low income households in NHS Crawley CCG between 2008 and 2013.
Percentage of children under 16 years living in low income households: Crawley CCG (2008-13)
There are also considerable differences in child poverty within Crawley CCG. Although count data (e.g. the exact number of children under the age of 16 living in low income households) is not available for small (LSOA) areas, it is possible to identify the proportion of children living in child poverty. The map below shows the proportion of children under the age of 16 years in each LSOA living in low income households according to child poverty figures for 2013. The map areas are shaded green if the 2020 national target for child poverty of 10% has been met, and grey, orange, and red if the level of child poverty is higher than 10%.