Deprivation gap widens between people from rich and poor backgrounds – report

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The gap widened between the levels of deprivation experienced by those who grew up affluent and those who grew up in poverty over a nine-year period.

That’s according to a report that looked at how poverty in Ireland and other EU countries persists across generations.

It revealed that when comparing deprivation rates in 2019 between people who had a good and bad financial situation during childhood, Ireland had the eighth highest level of inequality among the 27 countries in the world. EU – up from 16th place in 2011.

Funded by Pobal and carried out by ESRI, the study found that in 2019 there was a 35 percentage point gap between the deprivation of those who grew up in poverty and those who have a “very good” financial situation.

The report draws data from the Irish and European Income and Living Conditions Survey at three points in time – 2005, 2011 and 2019.

The survey asked respondents aged 25 to 59 about their household financial situation when they were in their early teens.

He found that the influence of child poverty on adult deprivation is most pronounced among young adults and “weaker but still significant” among adults aged 55-59.

Among the key findings of the report is that those who grow up in poverty tend to achieve lower levels of education, accounting for more than a quarter of the association between child poverty and deprivation in adulthood. .

ESRI concluded that tackling inequalities in education is “crucial” to breaking the cycle of poverty.

Falling rates of employment and disability or poor health among those who experienced child poverty were also partly responsible for the increased risk of deprivation in adulthood, ESRI said.

The EU-wide study found that the proportion of Irish respondents who experienced childhood poverty was 13% in 2011 and 9% in 2019, the same as the EU average. EU.

In 2011, the proportion of people in the EU-27 who experienced childhood poverty and adult deprivation was 33%, while in Ireland it was 37%.

By 2019, this percentage had fallen to 25% in the EU-27 average and 31% in Ireland.

An author of the report, Bertrand Maitre, said: “The study demonstrates the detrimental and long-term impact of child poverty on economic circumstances in late adulthood.

“This relationship is strongly affected by education level, as well as disability or poor health status and employment status.

“Tackling poverty and its effects requires a range of policy solutions, including additional educational support for disadvantaged children, social support for families, measures to support access to the labor market for people with disabilities and measures to support maternal employment.

Minister of State for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien, said: “Today’s report provides further evidence that experiences of child poverty can have a very negative impact on the outcomes of adult life.

“As a state, we must continue to invest more in children for their immediate benefit but also for the benefit of society as a whole. Poverty will continue to have the ability to be passed from one generation to the next unless we build on our current measures to address child poverty.

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