Over 7,600 Isle of Wight children living in poverty: See full area breakdown (update 2)

Use our interactive tables to see which areas across the Isle of Wight have highest and lowest percentage of children living in poverty.

Unhappy child

The End Child Poverty coalition has published figures today (Wednesday) revealing that the number of children living in poverty on the Isle of Wight has increased since November 2016.

The latest figures show that 7,629 children (29.49% after housing costs) on the Isle of are living in poverty.

This is a rise of 176 children since November 2016, when 7,453 Isle of Wight children (28.53%) were reported by the coalition to be living in poverty.

Area breakdown
Once again Ventnor West and Ventnor East have the highest proportion of children living in poverty (after housing costs). Nettlestone and Seaview has the lowest.

Use the interactive table below to find out how your area compares with others on the Island.

Children per ward in poverty, July-Sept 2017Number (After Housing Costs)%
Isle of Wight7,62929.49
Arreton and Newchurch9016.37
Binstead and Fishbourne6112
Brading, St Helens and Bembridge33431.95
Central Wight9819.07
Chale, Niton and Whitwell13832.95
Cowes Medina28825.28
Cowes North12326.20
Cowes South and Northwood10714.90
Cowes West and Gurnard7313.88
East Cowes24427.26
Freshwater North10627.82
Freshwater South14733
Godshill and Wroxall16931
Havenstreet, Ashey and Haylands16621.89
Lake North24131.88
Lake South13831.01
Nettlestone and Seaview3410.83
Newport Central20826.31
Newport East38042.65
Newport North11118.32
Newport South32236.97
Newport West11014.53
Ryde East21029.33
Ryde North East18435.63
Ryde North West17733.37
Ryde South50240.78
Ryde West32035.11
Sandown North13321.52
Sandown South31735.60
Shanklin Central23836.12
Shanklin South15532.56
Ventnor East20543.09
Ventnor West26748.51
West Wight11023.96
Whippingham and Osborne30733.57
Wootton Bridge11221.15

Island not immune from “unjust and unequal society”
Island Labour Parliamentary Spokesperson, Julian Critchley, said

“Some Islanders may find these statistics shocking. Some may look away from an excellent piece of reporting, not wanting to accept the situation their political choices have led us to. Yet they should be forced to look. There must be no hiding place for the consciences of those who have created this situation.

“The Island is often seen by outsiders as a prosperous and settled slice of “middle England”. Yet we on the Island are not immune from the unjust and unequal society which has been created in this country by Conservative policies. Nearly one in three of all children on the Island are living in poverty. Hundreds live in ‘hidden poverty’ even in outwardly prosperous places like my own ward of Ryde North West.

“Yet the harm being caused to our children doesn’t stop there. What is not recorded in these figures is that the poorest and most vulnerable children are also most heavily affected by the cuts to public services in schools and the NHS. For them, under Conservative cuts, the situation is destined to get even worse.

“This report should be a matter of shame for this Government, and for the Conservative Party whose policies have condemned our children to poverty. Our children deserve better than this.”

Growth of child poverty not acceptable
Nick Belfitt, Isle of Wight Liberal Democrat Parliamentary spokesperson said,

“These stats show the clear damage the current government administration is putting onto children. As a teacher, I know that poverty in young children can affect their development right into their later years and it can mean these young people losing out on any kind of future. More has to be done to protect children, children’s services and other youth services.

“The growth of child poverty is not acceptable and we have to do more to provide support and make sure all children are protected. Programmes like free school meals being raised up to secondary levels and additional support for working class families are some of the ways this government should be supporting children rather than pulling away the most basic needs.

“The Island has shown again it’s at a difficult position compared to the better-funded and supported South East region it is lumped with. We need Westminster to recognise what is happening here to help give these children a future.”

Comparison within the region
Although child poverty on the Isle of Wight and in the South East region are not as high as other areas in the UK, there are still places where significant numbers of children live below the poverty line.

The parts of the South East with the highest percentage of children living in poverty include:

Kent – Thanet34.7%
East Sussex - Hastings33%
Hampshire - Portsmouth30.7%
Berkshire - Slough29.8%
Isle of Wight29.5%
Oxford 26.4%
Buckinghamshire – Milton Keynes25.5%
West Sussex – Crawley25.5%
Surrey – Spelthorne17.9%

End the freeze on children’s benefits
As price rises risk pushing ever larger numbers of children below the poverty line, the coalition is calling on the Chancellor to end the freeze on children’s benefits – currently in place until the end of the decade – so that families no longer see living standards squeezed as prices rise.

The local child poverty estimates are broken down by parliamentary constituency, local authority and ward. Child poverty is the highest in large cities, particularly in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Among the twenty parliamentary constituencies with the highest levels of childhood poverty, seven are located in London, three in Birmingham, and three in Manchester.

Since the introduction of the benefit freeze, the End Child Poverty coalition, which includes charities, faith groups and unions, has warned that as prices rise, low income families would find it increasingly hard to pay for the same basic essentials.

Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of the National Children’s Bureau said:

“Poverty can hold children back in many different ways. It can mean children don’t reach a good level of health or development, do well in school or reach their potential in employment.

“The Government has pledged action through its social mobility policy, but the scale of child poverty that this new data reveals, means we urgently need a wider commitment from across Government to improve the living standards of children, young people and families. In particular, we need action to address the devastating impact of benefit cuts on families, including those with disabled children, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet.”

The coalition is also concerned that the impact of poverty may be exacerbated by a poverty premium – which means that low income families can face paying as much as £1700 per year more than better off families, to buy the same essential goods and services. A major contributor to this is the high cost of credit for low income families, and the coalition wants to see the Government address this by providing better access to interest free credit.

Thanks to Steve Butler for the heads-up.

Article edit
1. Comment added from Julian Critchley
2. Comment added from Nick Belfitt

Image: BFS_man under CC BY 2.0

Wednesday, 24th January, 2018 12:06pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2fYP

Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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37 Comments on "Over 7,600 Isle of Wight children living in poverty: See full area breakdown (update 2)"

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I’m really interested to know the ‘parameters’ used to measure these children in poverty. I actually don’t believe there are any in true poverty on the island. I think it’s poor money management. I’m sorry, I know I will be given grief for my comment but that’s more likely the case. I know of several families where the children would likely be classed as in this supposed… Read more »
Grumpymoo and Fred, you are not alone in your thoughts I can assure you, I as I said have been there through no fault of our family, I have to work bloody hard with long hours to be relatively comfortable. It took some very tough decisions on the behalf of myself and my partner to get through it but do you know what? We are getting there… Read more »
Instead of bashing the poor, why don’t we get angry about the rich who get billions in corporate welfare? Who cares if someone who is poor wants to drink or smoke? It’s not about money management, it’s about the fact that there aren’t any jobs and the few that there pay horribly and with few to no guarantees hours. I’m tired of the poor and the working… Read more »
Fred Karno
I was a child at the end of the war. Many things were on ration, (I can remember the books). There wasn’t much food other than the basics to be had. I seem to remember eating a lot of fried bread and I can recall the disgustingly vile smell and taste of tripe to this day. (Tripe was cheap.) Parents having to find money for a new… Read more »

I bet all their parents have an iPhone or similar.

iain mckie
There are around 11% of Isle of Wight households – 7,000 or so dwellings – deemed to be living in fuel poverty as per Govt figures. In part this is due to green taxes on energy production and VAT (5%) on bills, as well as the higher costs of energy production via renewables and the increased reliance upon the Short Term Operating Reserve. I expect that this… Read more »


Oh dear!!

Mark L Francis

I recall that the Blair/Brown government had a target to eliminate child poverty but the present Tory administration is so tied up with Brexit that this has been moved to the “Could Give a Toss” file. Then you have yer poverty and yer mental poverty. Anyone whose views merely spout the Daily Mail leader column really needs to go to the BrainBank & get some.


From Tory actions it seems more likely to be in the “Couldn’t give a toss” file.


The issue is not the Absolute level of poverty. The use of the word Poverty and a photo of a cute girl is designed to trigger an emotional response, suggesting people are starving, when we know that in general, they are not. This poverty map is bad in my humble opinion, because it doesn’t highlight the plight of truly poor people, who are in utterly dire circumstances.… Read more »

Let’s see what MP Bob Seely has to say about this measured poverty and about NHS cuts, cuts to police etc.

I am not shocked by the figures, especially considering the story of increasing numbers of unemployment (https://onthewight.com/claiming-work-benefits-isle-wight-rises/), nor because it is quite visible on school runs in the morning, walking around town, and having ones eyes generally open. What I am shocked about, but maybe should not be, is the rather vile and disgustingly privileged comments from a few here. For anyone who thinks poverty doesn’t exist,… Read more »

If they can afford to smoke they are not poor, or at least they wouldn’t be if they gave up!


Surely one should live according to their means. Do smokers, drinkers, car drivers etc etc do so at the expense of feeding and clothing their kids?


Looks like there is full range of right wing/Tory reactions to poverty figures here. 1) Deny it exists, 2) Claim that the definition is wrong, 2) Find an excuse (eg green taxes) that doesn’t involve doing anything about it, 3) If all else fails just say that you don’t believe it.



You just read a story about how thousands of island children are living in poverty, and your comment was essentially to make an excuse for it.

Have a word with yourself.


And I suggest that you are using other peoples’relative misery to try and get yourself elected and paid a fat salary. There is almost no poverty in the UK by global standards. I admit that there is comparative discomfort, but there is no genuine poverty.
How much do you give to the needy?

What’s tragic is when people are so sociopathic and selfish themselves, that they can’t believe others might actually care about the welfare of strangers without having an ulterior motive. I may not be the candidate for the Labour Party in the next election, but this issue would still be something I would care about, as it has been my whole life, when I was also not a… Read more »

political coinage – like ukip and eu,tories and the city, greens and windmills etc. you’re just looking for a job.

Hmmm I’m very dubious regarding these figures, I feel alot of it could be down to a very skewed view on what is important to some parents. I would do pretty much anything to make sure my children were well cared for and yes I have been unfortunate enough to be there! Depends how much you are driven I guess. They mention the rise in asthma diagnosis,… Read more »

Julian, with respect, I’m not sure abusing a member of the electorate on a public forum is going to prove entirely fruitful for you, you may want to be slightly more tactful!


There are some views so loathsome I’d rather not have the votes of their owners. The Tories are welcome to people who think the poverty of children is a deserved choice.

Geoff Brodie

Over four sets of elections, after hearing their unvarnished views when campaigning, I have quite often told some people not to vote for me.


There are about 7500 housing association properties, plus a few thousand people renting privately who cannot afford to buy. So, you could assume that there are at least 10,000 households, maybe more, where poverty or low income is a real issue.


Low income and poverty are very different things.


Indeed they are.
Just like personal choice and necessity!


Absolutely, people that choose to live on an isolated, impoverished island with connections to the more prosperous Solent region dominated by two big commercial ferry companies should expect to be poor.

Ah Tim, there is your problem, It all depends if you look at in a monetary light or not, in other qualities of life I consider myself rich. Yes it’s lovely over Portsmouth/Southampton and surrounding areas isn’t it, nobody is poor, never any traffic delays, no crime. If only I could afford to cross the solent to get there, I looked it up and the cheapest I… Read more »

You’re quite right.

If only the island had the same lower crime rates as areas such as Fareham and the New Forest, or the same access to public services, job & social opportunities that those areas enjoy.

Then we might be able to reduce child poverty on the island.


Tim, You might well see it that way, I’m perfectly happy here and will continue to be so.


So what about all those kids living in poverty? Surely you don’t mean “Blow you, I’m alright Jack”?


No Tim I don’t mean that, I don’t take kindly to you inferring I do either.
It’s subjective, you believe their skewed figures calculated by a flawed formula, like I said before in one of my previous posts, read it again.
Cut your coat according to the cloth.
Just to clarify Tim are you included in the alleged correct calculation of poverty stricken families?


I haven’t got a clue, I don’t claim benefits/tax credits etc. I’d much rather stand on my own two feet.
Unlike some others on OTW I do not find poverty quaint and charming, nor low wages and high crime rates a price worth paying to keep the island isolated from the mainland, but I suppose that we must agree to differ on that.


Tim, why is poverty quaint and charming exactly?
Maybe it’s because you are better off than most being that you are able to “stand on your own two feet”?


Housing benefit is a farce. The government ends up paying rich people’s buy-to-let mortgages now that the Council owns no more homes (thank you, Maggie Thatcher). So the rich get richer. Bring back Council houses!!


I consider that private landlords should be outlawed. Surely it is they that are pushing up rents due to the shortage of Council houses.

If we still had Council housing at realistic cost, private landlords would be forced to retreat to the upper end of the market where they do not impact poorer people. Successive govs (especially the current one) have failed spectacularly to address the affordable housing issue. Random thought: how many houses could you build for the price of a useless aircraft carrier, or HS2, or a nuclear sub… Read more »