Income inequality impacts children the most
Choose your parents well!
Hundreds of thousands of children live in the households that are being left behind as high income inequality continues. Children are the innocent victims of economic inequality – they are not responsible for the circumstances of their birth or upbringing. One quarter of our population is aged under 18. What we do to our children we are doing to our future as a country.
Increasing inequality means that:
- Thousands of children suffer from preventable illnesses such as rheumatic fever
- Over 200,000 children live in households that rely on income from benefits.
- New Zealand one of lowest ranked countries for child wellbeing and for health & safety among the wealthy countries in the OECD
- Children who live in poor households in their first five years of life are very likely to grow up with poor health and fewer opportunities (e.g. leaving school early, unemployed in later life).
It does not have to be this way. What happens to our children is the result of choices we make as a country. Countries that have chosen to keep inequality low also achieve much better results for their children. This is an investment in a strong future for our society and economy.
- Left Behind: How Social and Income Inequalities Damage New Zealand Children Child Poverty Action Group
- Public Health Advisory Committee, The Best Start in Life: Achieving effective child health and wellbeing
- The Children’s Social Health Monitor New Zealand
- UNICEF Left Behind Report Card
- Doing Better For Children, OECD
- Every Child Counts