Around 145,000 children are living in relative poverty (before 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 relative and absolute child poverty rate (before housing costs) in each Greater Manchester local authority and presents a map detailing ward 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.
Please note that up-to-date local child poverty figures measured after housing costs (i.e. figures that show poverty rates once housing costs have been met) were not available at the time of publication. These would likely show a higher child poverty rate in all localities in Greater Manchester. Should these figures become available we will share them on this page.
Child poverty rates by local authority
This chart shows the proportion of children living in relative and absolute poverty in each of Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs in 2021 (the year for which data is most recently available).
The relative child poverty measure tells us how many children were living in a household with an income below 60% of the median. This is the most commonly used measure of poverty in the UK, and in many other developed countries. The absolute poverty measure tells us how many children were living in households with incomes below 60% in 2010/11.
In 2021, Oldham had both the highest relative and absolute (36.2% and 29.8%). Trafford has both the lowest relative and absolute child poverty rates (11.4% and 9.2%).
The chart also allows you to look at child poverty rates overtime. Whilst there had typically been an upward trend in child poverty in most Greater Manchester boroughs in the years leading up to the pandemic, child poverty fell between 2020 and 2021. This has been largely driven by the £20 per week increase in Universal Credit announced in March 2020.
The figures in this chart compare with a UK wide child relative poverty (before housing costs) rate of 19% and a child absolute poverty rate (before housing costs) of 16%.
Child poverty rates by ward
The map below shows the percentage of children in absolute or relative poverty before housing costs by wards in Greater Manchester. The highest rates of both relative and absolute poverty can be found in close proximity to the centres of some of the city region’s towns (Bolton, Rochdale and Oldham) and in parts of north and south Manchester.
Coldhurst in Oldham is the ward with the highest relative child poverty rate (64%), with Hale Central in Trafford and Deansgate in Manchester sharing the lowest rate (3.5%).
Of Greater Manchester’s 215 wards, over half (109) have a relative child poverty rate of 20% or above.
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.
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 poverty has shown poverty rates among households with more than two children increasing rapidly over recent years.
Poverty Monitor 2022: Child Poverty