Children and the Cost-of-living Crisis

How food and energy inflation has increased poverty in households with children in the European Union


Children and families throughout the European Union are facing a cost-of-living crisis that has eroded living standards to such an extent that up to an additional 3 million children in 26 EU countries are now living in conditions equivalent to relative income poverty.

For families and children in the EU, the cost-of-living crisis is being experienced primarily through higher prices for food and energy. In addition, increasing interest rates make borrowing less affordable, placing a growing strain on the sustainability of businesses, mortgages, loans and government debt.

This research brief presents the first results of an analysis of how the cost-of-living crisis has affected the poverty experienced by households with children in the European Union (EU). It takes account of sharply increasing food and energy prices to calculate the additional number of children living in poverty, in real terms, due to the crisis. The brief also recommends that policymakers and governments protect children and families with steps that include expanding and index-linking child cash benefits to cover the needs of families, implementing guarantees to provide free meals for children in schools and providing services that prevent ‘holiday hunger’ when schools are closed in the summer months.

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Dominic Richardson; Alessandro Carraro; Margherita Squarcina; Fernando Flores Tavares; Gwyther Rees
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