Child poverty in Norway has tripled since 2001

Child poverty in Norway has tripled since 2001

Every fifth child, or about 18,500 of the country’s 98,000 children in poor families, lives in Oslo, shows research. The variations are large between the different districts.

 The concentration of child poverty in certain districts in Oslo is significant both in number and proportion. This is stated in a report published by the Labour Research Institute (AFI) for the Child, Youth and Family Directorate (Bufdir).

The research report is based on showing that child poverty in Norway has tripled since 2001, and has a relatively high prevalence in the metropolitan areas. The variation is high between Oslo’s 92 districts, and Director Mari Trommald in Bufdir is concerned about the development.

– Child poverty is serious for the people concerned and society as a whole. We know that living in an area where many have poor living conditions, low income and low education, reducing children’s chances of life. There is little reason to believe that this is only an Oslo phenomenon, but here we need to acquire more knowledge, says Trommald in a press release.

The report will be launched during Arendalsuka (The Arendal Week) Wednesday, August 16.

Target the resources

Minister of Children and Equality, Solveig Horne (Frp), says to NTB that she is pleased that she has recently received several reports on child poverty. It contributes to increased knowledge, says the minister.

“It allows the state and municipalities to more accurately target resources to help the families who need it,” says Horne.

“Much of the increase in the number of children growing up in low-income families is due to immigration, according to Statistics Norway,” says Horne. According to the minister, more than half of the children come from families with immigrant backgrounds.

Parents working is the most important way to prevent children from growing up in poverty, says Horne. Horne also mentions targeted measures against child poverty, which the Government and the collaborating parties have focused on, including an increase in the National Grant Scheme against Child Poverty.

Unacceptable

Kari Elisabeth Kaski, first candidate in Oslo and party secretary of the Socialist Party (SV), believes child poverty should be one of the main issues in the autumn’s election.

“It is not enough to blame immigration, when we know that child poverty has increased even if you take away immigration. The fact that more children grow up in poverty must be a major issue in the parliamentary elections, because we must ensure that all children get an equally good start in life, regardless of where they or their parents come from,” says Kaski to NTB.

Kaski says it is unacceptable that so many children grow up in poor families in Oslo. In addition to work, she believes an increase in child benefit should be a measure to help reduce poverty.

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