Contents

Main benefits

Dependent children

Children dependent on benefit recipients

Work and Income define children as dependent on a client when:

Other children living in the client’s household are treated as economically independent of the client. The following statistics exclude economically independent children in clients’ households.

Numbers of dependent childrenTop

The number of children dependent on beneficiaries decreased slightly between 2011 and 2012

This decrease (see table DB.1) followed little change between 2010 and 2011. This pattern reflected a combination of:

While the decrease in main benefit numbers was driven by Unemployment Benefits, only a small proportion of Unemployment Benefit recipients had dependent children. On the other hand, nearly all recipients of Domestic Purposes Benefits had at least one dependent child.

table DB.1: Ages of children dependent on recipients of a main benefit

Age of child at the end of June 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Children dependent on working-age recipients of a main benefit1
0–4 years 63,947 72,693 78,264 78,556 76,055
5–9 years 57,585 62,512 65,079 64,737 64,232
10–13 years 42,343 45,514 47,578 47,217 45,616
14–17 years 35,233 38,908 41,286 40,978 39,792
18–19 years 1,570 1,678 2,146 2,231 2,127
Total dependent on working-age clients 200,678 221,305 234,353 233,719 227,822
  Children dependent on other recipients of a main benefit1
Total dependent on other clients 1,081 1,161 1,054 913 820
  All children dependent on recipients of a main benefit1
Total dependent on all clients 201,759 222,466 235,407 234,632 228,642

Note

  1. The number of children dependent on carers who were recorded in SWIFTT as receiving a main benefit at the end of June.

Over one in five of children aged under 18 were dependent on benefit recipients

In 2012, an estimated 21.1% of children aged under 18 were dependent on benefit recipients, down from 21.5% in 2010 and 2011. Since 2009, children aged under 10 have been more likely to be dependent on a benefit recipient than children aged 10–17.

Clients coming off a benefit between 2010 and 2012 were less likely to have a dependent child than those who remained on a benefit. This reflected the fact that Unemployment Benefits drove the decrease in main benefit numbers, while recipients of Domestic Purposes Benefits were much more likely to have children.

Over four in five children dependent on beneficiaries were aged under 14

Around 82% of the children dependent on working-age benefit recipients between 2008 and 2012 were aged under 14 (see table DB.1). This included around 33% who were aged under 5.