A rising number of children in Greater Manchester are living in poverty, according to new Government figures.

The data has revealed that there were 184,336 children in Greater Manchester living below the breadline in March 2020, even before the cost of housing was taken into account.

The number has been rising year on year, having increased from 143,188 kids in March 2015 - and charities warn that it will rise yet further due to the pandemic.

The figures mean that even before coronavirus hit, more than one in every four children in Greater Manchester was living in poverty (26%) - higher than the national average of one in five (20%).

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The figure ranges from 13% in Trafford to 38% in Oldham, which is one of the highest proportions in the country.

Meanwhile, analysis of hyperlocal data - areas with a population of around 1,500 people each - shows that the situation is even more stark in particular neighbourhoods.

In one neighbourhood in Oldham, shockingly nearly four in every five children are thought to be living in poverty.

In fact, there are 108 neighbourhoods across Greater Manchester where more than half of children are estimated to be living below the breadline.

Use our interactive to see the proportion of children living in low income families in your neighbourhood:

The figures include teenagers up to the age of 19 who are still living at home with their parents or carers and are in full time education or training.

The proportions are estimates based on DWP figures on the number of children living in families with a household income of less than 60% of the UK average as of March 2020, and population estimates from the Office for National Statistics as of mid-2019.

As such, they can only offer an approximation of the proportion of children living in poverty - but they do give a broad indication of local areas with a very high or very low proportion.

Meanwhile, as the Government only publishes local data on child poverty before housing costs, in some cases these figures are likely to be an underestimate of the number of kids living in poverty - particularly in areas with high rents.

Anna Feuchtwang, chair of the End Child Poverty coalition and chief executive of National Children’s Bureau said: “The message from this data couldn’t be clearer.

“In the five years before the pandemic child poverty has continued to rise. As the Government rightly focuses on tackling rising unemployment from the pandemic and its commitment to levelling up, it has to take its record in tackling child poverty seriously.

“The End Child Poverty coalition is calling for a comprehensive plan from the Government to end child poverty. In addition to action on low pay this will require investment in children’s benefits.

“Without it we are asking children to live in shame, without somewhere decent to live, without adequate food and clothing, and denying them the secure and healthy childhood we all agree children are entitled to.”

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey

In response to the figures, Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey said: “The statistics reflect the situation prior to Covid.

“We have since increased our support with an unprecedented package of measures targeting those with the lowest incomes to help families through a difficult year – including by injecting billions of pounds into the welfare safety net, ending the benefits freeze, helping with housing costs and increasing the national living wage. Crucially, furlough has also saved millions of jobs and protected livelihoods.

“Our relentless focus as we build back better is on getting Britain back on its feet through our multi-billion pound Plan For Jobs, which is already delivering for people of all ages right across the country.”

However, the End Child Poverty coalition wants the Government to look beyond employment when it comes to their response to the pandemic, particularly considering there has been a continued rise in child poverty among working families.

As of March 2020, there were 124,990 children in Greater Manchester living below the poverty line despite one or more of their parents working - 68% of the total number in poverty, and up from 85,594 in 2015.

The coalition says this is evidence that despite what the Government says, work is simply not the answer.

Cuts and freezes to children’s benefits over the past 10 years have been exacerbated by the introduction of the benefit cap and the two child limit.

They want to see the Government end these policies, as well as strengthening children’s benefits and tackling low pay, high rents and high costs of childcare.

National poverty charity Turn2us also wants to see this type of approach.

Sara Willcocks, head of external affairs at Turn2us, said: “Poverty levels were unacceptably high before our lives were affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“They will be even higher now. Without meaningful intervention, this situation and the impact it has on people’s lives is only going to get worse in the future.

“There needs to be a radical rethink of our social security system that enables people to thrive; not just survive. People deserve more than the bare minimum.

“But, change must be holistic. Improving our benefit safety net needs to go hand-in-hand with building affordable housing, creating well paid jobs, investing in communities, and more.”