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Ending child poverty by 2020

Progress made and lessons learned

On 14 June 2012 the Department for Work and Pensions will release the latest child poverty figures for the period 2010/11 in the form of the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) figures. This data is released at the half-way point towards achieving the 2020 target to eradicate child poverty. To mark this occasion, CPAG asked a range of leading academics to assess the progress made over the period 1998–2010, to identify the drivers behind the changes observed, and to reflect on what the future looks like for children in the UK today.

What the contributors show is that significant progress has been made over the last decade. As Kitty Stewart highlights in Chapter One, between 1998 and 2010 child poverty looks set to have reduced by 900,000 children when using a ‘before housing costs’ measure. However, this headline figure underestimates the actual progress made over the period: if no action had been taken to reduce child poverty in the 2000s, it is projected that an additional 900,000 children would have fallen into poverty during the decade.