Reports 2016/35

Income mobility among households with children: 2007 - 2014

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During an eight-year period, 23 per cent of all children experienced “at least once” to be at risk of poverty. However, only 1.4 per cent of all children were at risk of poverty “all the time” during that same period. The children most at risk of “always” being poor are children in large households and where few of the adults are attached to the work force. Furthermore, many in this group belong to households where the age of the youngest child is 6 or younger, and where many have an immigrant background, particularly from countries in Africa, Asia etc. Children living in the Capital region have a particularly high risk of being always poor.

When one compares changes in at-persistent-risk-of-poverty between two four-year periods (2007-2010 and 2011-2014), one finds that 1.8 per cent of all children were entries into poverty from the first to the second period, while almost equally as many (2 per cent) were exits. The largest proportion, 3.5 per cent of all children, was at persistent risk of poverty in both the first and last four-year period.

Poverty entries and exits are highly associated with demographic and economic changes taking place within the household. Exits from poverty seems for instance often to coincide with an increase in the number of adult members of the household, e.g. the transition from a single parent household to a couple household with children. This again often leads to an increase in the number of economically actives in the household and thus an increase in household income. Another exit route from poverty seems to be an increase in employment among existing adult household members.

For children who enter poverty the tendency seem to be the reverse of those exiting poverty. For many of these children there seems to be an association between entering poverty and a reduction in the number of adult household members, for instance as a result of divorce or family split-ups.

There seem to be a difference between children with and without an immigrant background in respect to events that coincide with poverty entries and exits. For children without an immigrant background, demographic events seem to be stronger associated with poverty transitions than among children with an immigrant background. On the other hand, job-related events coincide to a larger extent with poverty transitions among children with an immigrant background, than for those without such background.

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