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Ear to the Ground

Britain Produces Generations of Impoverished Children

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Posted on Aug 26, 2013
Mickey van der Stap (CC BY 2.0)

Britain risks “sleepwalking into a world where inequality becomes so entrenched that our children grow up in a state of social apartheid,” a leading charity is expected to show in a report set to be published next week.

According to The Guardian, the report from the National Children’s Bureau compares aspects of children’s lives today with data collected during a seminal study of 11-year-olds conducted in 1969 called “Born to Fail?” Today’s research finds that significantly more children are growing up in relative poverty—3.6 million now compared with 2 million decades ago. These children are said to suffer “devastating consequences throughout their lives.”

“Today, although there have been some improvements,” the study adds, “overall the situation appears to be no better, and in some respects has got worse.”

Dr. Hilary Emery, the bureau’s chief executive, finds that “There is a real risk that our society is sleepwalking into a world where children grow up in a state of social apartheid, with poor children destined to experience hardship and disadvantage just by accident of birth, and their more affluent peers unaware of their existence.”

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

The report finds that:

A child from a disadvantaged background is still far less likely to achieve a good level of development at four than a child from a more privileged home.

Children living in deprived areas are much more likely to be the victim of an unintentional injury or accident in the home.

Children from the poorest areas are nine times less likely than those living in affluent areas to have access to green space, places to play and to live in environments with better air quality.

Boys living in deprived areas are three times more likely to be obese than boys growing up in affluent areas, and girls are twice as likely.

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