UK lags behind other rich countries on child inequality

Richardson, H. BBC News. Published online: 14th April 2016.

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The UK is lagging behind other rich countries on reducing inequalities between rich and poor children, a Unicef report says. The UN body set up to promote the rights and wellbeing of children highlights “concerning gaps in health, education, and income”.

The lack of progress means ambitions to eradicate child poverty are unlikely to be realised in coming years, it adds. The government said there were 300,000 fewer children in poverty since 2010. The gap between rich and poor had narrowed in the UK in recent years, largely because the income of the poorest families had fallen more slowly than that of the average household, Unicef said in its Report Card 13 report. But Unicef added that were it not for benefits, the income gap in Britain would be among the greatest in Europe.

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Image source: UNICEF

One area of concern was the difference in the UK between wealthier and poorer children’s performance in reading, maths and science. Another key area of concern was the disparity in healthy behaviours, predominantly consumption of fruit and vegetables, among children of different social backgrounds.

Read the full commentary here

Read the UNICEF report here

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