Data journalists focus on child poverty as cost of living soars

A data journalism project published in titles across the UK has shone a spotlight on levels of child poverty around the country.

Reach’s data unit researched data from the Department of Work and Pensions, cross-matching it with population figures from the Office for National Statistics to reveal child poverty levels at postcode level around the UK.

The team, which has been in place at Reach for almost a decade now, developed an interactive tool to let readers search for data in their area.

With the cost of living crisis expected to get worse as inflation continues to soar, there are fears that even more families will fall below the breadline in the near future.

The project prompted articles around the UK.

CornwallLive reported that in some parts of the county, best-known as a tourism hot-spot for people around the UK, up to one in four children can live in poverty.

The figures were even starker in Greater Manchester, where the MEN reported than in some areas, two in three youngsters live in poverty.

TeessideLive reported that one area nearby had the second highest poverty rate in the country, while BedfordshireLive reported on the 32,000 children living in poverty in their county.

HampshireLive reported that 68,231 children lived below the breadline in the county and the Isle of Wight. The project, co-ordinated and produced by the Data Unit’s Annie Gouk, was also published on the Daily Mirror website

Responding to the research, Imran Hussain, director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, said: “These figures show the Chancellor’s actions to boost incomes at the start of the pandemic lifted hundreds of thousands of ch

ildren out of poverty, but the Treasury’s relative inaction to help families on low incomes in today’s cost of living crisis is likely to see any progress lost and child poverty climb again.

“As prices continue to rise, more low-income parents we support who were just about managing could go under, with no tips, tricks or hacks left to stretch their income over the month. Our new research shows nearly half (47%) of children we polled from low-income backgrounds worry about their family’s finances as struggling parents are left to decide whether to put food on the table or heat their homes.”

  • In 2022, Behind Local News aims to celebrate local journalism in all its forms through our 365 Acts of Local Journalism Project. Lets us know what you think should be included. You can email us here or contact us via Twitter on BehindLocalNews or on Facebook here.

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The stories behind the stories, from the regional press in the UK

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