How local area deprivation can affect childhood outcomes

The research team studied a cohort of 159,131 children who lived in Wales and completed their age 16 exams (Key Stage 4) between 2009 and 2016. Free School Meal (FSM) provision was used an indicator of household level deprivation. The study used the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD 2011) to identify the concentrations and variations of several domains of deprivation for small areas in Wales and its impact on children.

The study found living in an area with high community safety, good connectivity and higher area income (e.g., more people in work), was associated with children in poverty doing well (e.g., in education and mental health). These findings suggest that investing in community development and local area improvements can help local children to do well in terms of education, mental health and reducing risk-taking behaviours (alcohol/drug use). Local area improvements include things such as promoting community safety and improving the access to public services and return to work schemes.

Read the full Data Insight report Living in a safe, connected area improves life chances for children in poverty in Wales.

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