August 9, 2011 • 3:39 pm

 

Yesterday following the riots in London, Full Fact examined unemployment rates and jobseekers allowance claimants across the capital’s Parliamentary constituencies.

Today, following another night of trouble, more figures have emerged in the context of the unrest, with Nina Power writing in the Guardian about Government spending cuts and poverty across the capital.

One such statistic she mentioned was that Haringey, the borough where the violence began, has the fourth highest levels of child poverty in London.

Full Fact decided to look into child poverty factors in the context of the riots so far.

As Full Fact previously reported, child poverty is officially defined as the number of children living in households whose income is 60 per cent below the national median.

The most up-to-date information on child poverty is available from the Department for Work and Pensions statistics. However a breakdown of London boroughs is only available from 2008.

The borough with the highest child poverty rate is Tower Hamlets, with 57 per cent of children living in ‘poverty’, followed by Islington with 46 per cent and Hackney with 43.5 per cent.

Haringey, which saw the first instance of riots, in fact has the seventh highest rate with 39.2 per cent, and Croydon, which saw huge fires on Monday night, is twenty-first out of 33 boroughs with 26.2 per cent child poverty.

The map below shows the child poverty rates across all London boroughs.

Examining the locations in which the riots have taken place so far may lead some to infer a correlation between areas with high child poverty and areas that have suffered riots.

However, Full Fact considered this possibility but decided that there were too many caveats to make a valid inference. Rioters did not necessarily operate solely in their areas of residence, and there are notable outliers such as in Croydon which has relatively low levels of child poverty.

In addition, there is a great deal of variance in rates on a ward level, for instance St. Katharine’s and Wapping ward in Tower Hamlets has a child poverty rate of 40.9 per cent, while East India and Lansbury ward, also in Tower Hamlets borough, has a 62.4 per cent rate.

So while there is certainly a story to tell regarding child poverty across London, attempts to compare this to the recent riots should be treated with great caution.

 

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