Child Poverty Related Indicators Report (2020/2021)

The five Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRIs) are a subset of the child and youth wellbeing indicators. The CPRIs are measures related to the causes and consequences of child poverty. These indicators help tell a broader story about the lived experience of children living in poverty in New Zealand. Over time, they can also tell us more about the impact of policies established to reduce child poverty and mitigate its consequences.

This third Child Poverty Related Indicators report includes data for the year ending June 2021, and therefore captures the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but is prior to the Delta and Omicron outbreaks.  

While there is still much to be done across all the indicators, there are encouraging signs that we are making progress. Overall, the data indicate a longer-term improving trend on three out of five of the CPRIs.

The key findings and trends from 2020/21 data include:

  • Housing affordability: The proportion of children living in unaffordable housing has been broadly stable over the past decade and this has continued through 2020/21.
  • Housing quality: There has been a consistent improving trend on this indicator since 2017/18, indicating an overall reduction in the number of children living in households with major damp or mould.
  • Food insecurity: There has been a large and statistically significant decrease in rates of children living in food insecure households since 2019/20.
  • Regular school attendance: A key area for improvement includes addressing the long-term decline in regular school attendance rates. Attendance rates have fluctuated since 2019 but are substantially lower than they were five years ago.
  • Potentially avoidable hospitalisations: Rates of children experiencing potentially avoidable hospitalisations, while unchanged from the previous year, indicate that the substantial improvement on this indicator observed in 2019/20 has been sustained.

Across almost all the indicators there is evidence of barriers faced by Māori, Pacific, and disabled children to achieving equitable outcomes relative to New Zealand children overall. COVID-19 appears to have worsened some of the inequities experienced by Māori and Pacific children in relation to regular school attendance, however there are signs of a narrowing of disparities on potentially avoidable hospitalisations.

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