More Dutch children at risk of growing up poor

More Dutch children at risk of growing up poor

The number of underage children at risk of poverty has increased in 2011 according figures released by Statistics Netherlands. In the provinces of South Holland and Groningen, more children grow up in poverty than in other provinces. In more than half of cases, families do have enough money to go on holiday.

In 2011, 371 thousand underage children grew up in households at risk of poverty, i.e. over 55,000 more than in 2010. The share of underage children growing up in poverty was 11 percent in 2011, nearly 2 percentage points above the level of the previous year. The increase mainly occurred in children under the age of 12.

In the total population, 7.8 percent were living on low incomes. The proportion in children is considerably higher (11 percent), partly because single-parent families are strongly overrepresented in the group at risk of poverty. Single-parent families have only one breadwinner and single mothers in particular often depend on social security.

The risk of poverty is also relatively high among children in families with a non-western background, because non-western families often depend on social security.

With nearly 14 percent, the provinces of South Holland and Groningen had the highest share of minors at risk of poverty. The proportion of children growing up in low-income families was also above average (nearly 12 percent) in the provinces of North Holland and Limburg. In a number of large municipalities in these provinces a relatively high proportion of people, for example benefit recipients, are living on low incomes.

With more than 8 percent, the risk of poverty for underage children was lowest in the province of Drenthe was also low in the provinces of Utrecht and Gelderland where fewer than 1 in 10 children were at risk of poverty.

Three in five children at risk of poverty cannot go on holiday
Underage children growing up in poverty are often faced with financial limitations. More than 60 percent of families do not have enough money to go on holiday at least once a year and 40 percent cannot buy new clothes regularly. Hot meals with meat, chicken or fish and a properly heated house are far less self-evident for children growing up in families under threat of poverty than for children growing up without the risk of poverty.

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