Child Poverty

Updated June 2023 with new figures from the End Child Poverty Coalition

Around 250,000 children are living in poverty (after housing costs) in Greater Manchester. The child poverty rate in the city region is higher than the England and UK average.

This page details the child poverty rate (after housing costs) in each Greater Manchester local authority and presents a map detailing constituency level child poverty figures. As the government doesn’t produce local level working age and pensioner poverty figures, child poverty is often used as a proxy for poverty rates more broadly within an area.

Want the latest poverty information, data, stories and news delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up to our fortnightly newsletter.

Child poverty rates by local authority

This chart shows the proportion of children living in poverty after housing costs in each of Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs in 2021/22.

In 2021/22, Manchester had the highest level of child poverty (44.7%) and Trafford had the lowest level of child poverty (22.3%).

The chart also allows you to look at child poverty rates over time. There has been an upward trend in all Greater Manchester boroughs from 2014/15 to 2021/22, apart from in Trafford. Oldham has seen the biggest increase with a percentage point rise of 11.1%.

The figures in this chart compare with a UK wide child poverty rate of 29% in 2021/22.


Child poverty rates by constituency

The map below shows the percentage of children in poverty after housing costs by constituencies in Greater Manchester. The highest rates of child poverty can be found in Oldham West and Royton (51.3%), Bolton South East (50.9%), and Manchester, Gorton (50.8%).

Altrincham and Sale West has the lowest rate of child poverty at 13.3%.

Of Greater Manchester’s 27 constituencies, 23 have a child poverty rate of 30% or above.


Estimates of Free School Meal eligibility by ward

This map shows estimates of the percentage of students eligible for Free School Meal (FSM) by ward across eight out of ten Greater Manchester boroughs (comparable data for Bolton and Wigan wasn’t available at the time of publication). FSM eligibility is often used as a proxy for measuring child poverty and gives an insight into the number of families eligible for support in an area.

The darker the area on the map the higher the proportion of children eligible for FSM. Hovering over an area with your cursor allows you to see the FSM eligibility rate for that ward.

These estimates were made by GMPA using ONS population estimates and data provided by local authorities showing the number of pupils eligible for FSM in each ward.

FSB datra by LA PM22 for GM Poverty ActionFree School Meals eligibility rates by local authority

This table shows the proportion of pupils in each Greater Manchester borough eligible for Free School Meals. Free School Meal eligibility is often used to understand the number of school pupils living in low income households in a locality, and can be used to complement the child poverty data presented above.

Manchester has the highest proportion of pupils eligible for Free School Meals (36.9%) and Trafford the lowest (14%). Please note that we were unable to obtain figures from Bolton.

You can find out more about Free School Meal eligibility here.




Two child limitNumber of household UC & CTC PM 22 for GM Poverty Action

Under the two child limit policy, parents are not entitled to any extra support through universal credit or child tax credit to help with raising a third or subsequent child born after 6 April 2017. According to Child Poverty Action Group, this means they lose out on up to £2,935 a year, and puts families’ budgets under enormous strain. You can read more about the two child limit policy and the impact of it here.

This table shows the total number of households affected by the policy in each of Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs – this amounts to 14,130 across the whole of the city region.

Households containing more than two children have always been at greater risk of poverty, and the two child limit has likely exacerbated this. National low income household data has shown poverty rates among households with more than two children increasing rapidly over recent years.

Please click here to return to the GM Poverty Monitor 2022 main page and the list of sub pages


i3oz9sPoverty Monitor 2022: Child Poverty