Browse IFS
Publication types
Research project
Article
Child poverty
Researchers at IFS look child poverty on an ongoing basis, analysing the effectiveness of government policy designed to alleviate - and eventually abolish - child poverty.

In a project funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a number of researchers at various institutions are working to forecast the prospects for child poverty in 2010 and 2020 under current government policies, and to estimate what a set of policies that allowed the government to meet the target might cost. Researchers at IFS will be using microsimulation techniques to forecast relative child poverty in the UK in 2010 and 2020 under various scenarios for future policy and sociodemographic change. This research is part of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's project, What will it take to end child poverty in the UK?.

For work about inequality in general, see ongoing analysis of trends in inequality.

To get an idea of where you fit into the income distribution, try our interactive model, which will plot your position on the distributional graph. You can also download a spreadsheet containing some key figures about inequality.
Related publications
Publications by type

06 June 2013
Journal Articles
Article
We document the evolution of average incomes, poverty and inequality over the period of Labour government from 1997 to 2010, comparing these trends with those seen over other periods in recent history.
11 January 2010
External publications
Article
This note compares three policies that have been recently suggested which would change the way that families with children are treated by the tax and benefit system.
01 September 2009
Journal Articles
Article
In 1999 the Government pledged to eradicate child poverty in the UK by 2020 and, in the meantime, to halve it by 2010.
18 February 2009
IFS Reports
Article
The 2008 Pre-Budget Report (PBR) said that 'the Government will take stock of progress towards its 2010 and 2020 child poverty target in the [2009] Budget'. As background to that exercise, this paper updates our previous analysis of the prospects for child poverty in the UK in 2010-11 and 2020-21.
18 February 2009
IFS Press Releases
Article
The Government would need to spend £4.2 billion extra on tax credits for low-income families to be on track to hit its short-term child poverty target for 2010-11, according to new research.
18 February 2009
Presentations
Article
This presentation was delivered on 18 Wednesday 2009 at the IFS, London.
06 February 2009
Observations
Article
Last week ministers made changes to the Government's child poverty targets, suggesting that it would be enough to cut the proportion of children in poverty on the most familiar definition to 10% rather than the 5% they have so far aspired to.
09 September 2008
Report Summaries
Article
As part of a report produced by Barnardo's, we modelled three reforms to the tax credit system.
27 April 2007
Presentations
Article
This evidence was submitted to the Treasury Select Committee as part of their Report on the 2007 Budget.
24 April 2007
IFS Press Releases
Article
On 23 April 2007, the Department for Work and Pensions announced that an error had occurred when producing the latest Households Below Average Income publication.
27 March 2007
IFS Press Releases
Article
Relative poverty has risen across the whole population for the first time since Labour came to power, with child poverty also rising for the first time in six years, according to official statistics released today on the distribution of income in 2005/06.
06 July 2006
External publications
Article
This study forecasts the prospects for child poverty in 2010/11 and 2020/21 under current government policies, and illustrates the impact of various tax and benefit policies that could be implemented in 2010 and 2020.
13 March 2006
IFS Reports
Article
This Commentary provides an update on trends in poverty and inequality in Great Britain, based on the latest official government statistics.
09 March 2006
IFS Press Releases
Article
The government has failed to achieve its target of reducing child poverty by 25% between 1998/99 and 2004/05, according to the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) data published today by the Department for Work and Pensions.
30 March 2005
IFS Reports
Article
This Commentary provides an update on trends in poverty and inequality in Great Britain for 2005.
04 March 2005
Book Chapters
Article
Reducing child poverty and income inequality.
01 March 2004
IFS Briefing Notes
Article
This Briefing Note assesses the likelihood that the government will meet its child poverty target in 200405 in the light of decisions made in Pre-Budget Report (PBR) 2003. It updates the analysis presented in What Do the Child Poverty Targets Mean for the Child Tax Credit? An Update, IFS Briefing Note 41, which was written before PBR 2003. We agree with the assessment in PBR 2003 that the government should comfortably meet its target measuring incomes before housing costs (BHC). It also concludes that the government is on course to just hit its target measuring incomes after housing costs (AHC).
01 February 2004
IFS Reports
Article
This Commentary presents a detailed analysis of the latest figures and recent trends.
01 January 2004
Books
Article
How governments should direct money to families with children is a constant topic of political debate.
01 December 2003
IFS Briefing Notes
Article
The government has a target for child poverty to fall to 3.1 million by 2004-05, measured by the number of children in households with less than 60% median income after housing costs. The latest data showed that 3.8 million children (30% of children in Britain) were in poverty in 2001-02 on this definition. To help achieve the target, increases to means-tested benefits and tax credits need to take effect in April 2004, and therefore need to be announced in the forthcoming Pre-Budget Report.
01 April 2003
IFS Briefing Notes
Article
The child tax credit and working tax credit were introduced in April 2003. When fully operational, the child tax credit will represent the majority of government financial support for children. It is designed to simplify the system of financial support for parents, and provides support that is means-tested against family income. The working tax credit is designed to make work more financially attractive. It means that people with or without children in work and on a low income may receive extra help from the State. This Briefing Note looks at the changes that have been made and asks why the new tax credits have been introduced, how they work, the cost and distributional impact, the impact on work incentives and what levels of take-up we might expect.
01 March 2003
IFS Briefing Notes
Article
An additional 100,000 children were lifted out of poverty on the most commonly cited of the government's relative poverty measures between 2000ְ1 and 2001ְ2. The most recent figures show 3.8 million children (roughly 30 per cent of all children) in Britain in households with income below 60 per cent of the median income after housing costs. Although this means that almost one in three children in Britain live in poverty on this definition, this is the lowest level recorded since 1991. Since the Labour government came to power, the total drop in the numbers in child poverty has been around 500,000.
01 November 2002
IFS Reports
Article
This commentary describes the changes to the structure of child-contingent support through the tax and benefit system since 1975. It also presents new results, which were produced to quantify explicitly the amount of government support for families with children, using representative samples of families from over the past three decades. With these data, it is possible to examine whether child-contingent support has become more or less progressive, or more or less slanted towards large families, lone-parents families or families with young children.
01 April 2002
IFS Reports
Article
Before the 2001 election the Treasury said that `tax and benefit reforms announced in this Parliament will lift over 1.2 million children out of relative poverty. But official figures released on 11 April show a smaller fall in child poverty, of only 0.5 million since 1996-97. This commentary attempts to explain the discrepancy.
31 October 2001
IFS Press Releases
Article
This research analyses two new tax credits that the Government wants to introduce in 2003: the employment tax credit for low-wage workers and the integrated child credit for families with children. The integrated child credit will bring together existing support for children, but the employment tax credit will offer entirely new support to low-paid workers without children.
01 October 2001
IFS Reports
Article
In 2003: the government will introduce new tax credits to provide financial support for children and low-paid workers: the integrated child credit and the employment tax credit. The reform to support for children aims to unify existing payments in a way that provides a guaranteed stream of income for those with children, whether they are working or not. The credit for people in work will provide an income top-up for low earners - something that those without children have not benefited from before. The government has not announced the impact of the reforms on the public finances, but both will cost the exchequer money, so this Commentary considers the likely sums involved. We also examine whether the reforms look like fulfilling their stated aims: making work pay, relieving poverty and creating a new type of state support that is simpler and less intrusive for claimants.
05 April 2001
IFS Working Papers
Article
Over the past 20 years the incidence of relative poverty among Britain's children has tripled.
01 January 2001
IFS Reports
Article
This commentary discusses the rationale for directing financial support to families with children and assesses options for a new integrated child credit.

Search

Title (or part of title)
Author surname (or part of surname)