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More than 130,000 children slipped into poverty during the recession

Ireland is 37th of 41 OECD countries.

Image: Poverty via Shutterstock

CHILD POVERTY IN Ireland rose by over 10% during the recession, a new report says.

The UNICEF 12th annual report card entitled Children of the Recession ranks 41 countries in the OECD and the European Union according to whether levels of child poverty have increased or decreased since 2008.

The child poverty rate in Ireland as measured by Eurostat rose from 18% to 28.6% between 2008 and 2012, an increase of 10.6%. This means an increase of more than 130,000 poor children in Ireland.

Comparatively, poverty among older people has increased by 2.5% during the same period.

The report includes Gallup World Poll data on people’s perceptions of their economic status and hopes for the future since the recession began.

UNICEF’s Report shows that 2.6 million children have sunk below the poverty line in the world’s most affluent countries since 2008, bringing the total number of children in the developed world living in poverty to an estimated 76.5 million.

UNICEF’s Report Card 12 results for Ireland include:

  • Ireland ranks 37th of 41 OECD countries, ahead of Croatia, Latvia, Greece and Iceland in a league table measuring relative changes in child poverty.
  • The recession has hit 15-24 year olds especially hard. Ireland ranks 14th out of 41 countries in a league table measuring the change in teens not in education, employment or training. 
  • In a Gallup poll surveying people’s perceptions of how their lives have changed, Ireland ranks 38th out of 41 countries across the OECD, ahead of Turkey, Cyprus and Greece.
  • Irish families are experiencing additional stress and have a lower overall satisfaction with life.
  • The data further shows that people do not believe children in Ireland have the opportunity to learn and grow every day.

Peter Power of UNICEF Ireland says that the report should refocus Irish priorities.

“Countries should place the well-being of children at the top of their priorities during economic recessions. Not only is this a moral obligation, but it is in the long term self-interest of societies. Children living in poverty are more likely to become impoverished adults and have poor children, creating and sustaining intergenerational cycles of poverty.”

Read: Ireland is ahead of the pack in terms of supporting developing countries

Read: One in five older Irish people live in deprivation

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