CHILD poverty rates in Newport and Blaenau Gwent are among the highest in Wales, new research shows.

While many areas of Wales saw a fall in child poverty between 2015 and 2019, Blaenau Gwent was one of six local authority areas which saw a rise during this time, the study by the End Child Poverty coalition shows.

Blaenau Gwent now has the second-highest child poverty rate in Wales at 31.2 per cent, an increase of 1.1 per cent since 2015.

South Wales Argus:

Areas where child poverty has increased

Newport’s rate, at 30.7 per cent, is the third-highest in Wales, although it has fallen by 0.3 per cent.

Across Wales as a whole, the rate has fallen from 29 per cent to 28 per cent.

At least one in five children in every Welsh local authority is growing up in poverty after housing costs are taken into account, the research shows.

Many of these families find that once housing costs are paid, they do not have enough money to meet their children’s needs and are left with no option but to turn to crisis help like food banks, and are increasingly reliant on free school meals, the report says.


In Newport East, the child poverty rate is 31.2 per cent, with 5,206 children in poverty after housing costs are taken into account.

The rate in Newport West is 28.4 per cent, with 5,050 children in poverty, the report shows.

Torfaen has a child poverty rate of 28.9 per cent, with 4,528 children in poverty, a fall of 2.2 per cent since 2015.

Caerphilly has a rate of 27.4 per cent, a fall of 2.3 per cent, and Islwyn a rate of 25.8 per cent.

Monmouthshire’s rate is the lowest in Gwent, at 20.5 per cent, with 2,859 children in poverty, a fall of 3.2 per cent.

South Wales Argus:

Areas in Wales with the highest child poverty rates

Ellie Harwood, Wales development manager for Child Poverty Action Group, said child poverty rates have reduced in Wales, unlike most of the UK, but that they remain “unacceptably high”.

“Whichever way you look at these figures, they show that child poverty exists in every corner of Wales, from the valleys to the coast, in our rural heartlands and our inner cities,” she said.

“With the pandemic threatening to push many more families into hardship, we need the Welsh Government to commit to a new child poverty strategy that sets out ambitious and measurable targets for eliminating child poverty altogether.”

The coalition is also urging the UK government to set out a plan to tackle child poverty encompassing not only social security spending but also the high cost of housing and childcare, and investment in children’s services.