Quarter of London children come from jobless homes

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Almost a quarter of children in London live in households where no one is working, official figures showed today.





The UK average for the proportion of children living in households where no one works is 15 per cent, but this rises to 23 per cent in London and 18 per centin the North East, North West, West Midlands and Wales, the Office for National Statistics data showed.

The report, released today, also shows regional differences in the types of family children live in, their health, education and sentencing for crime.









An ONS spokesman said: "Although there are differences between regions, the data suggest that the most significant influence on children's experiences growing up is likely to be income deprivation.

"Growing up in a low income family in one region will probably be more like growing up in one in similar circumstances in another region than in a more affluent family in the same region."



The report, which looked at regional trends across the UK, also found London topped the list of regions with the highest number of families headed by lone parents - 31 per cent compared with 29 per cent in the North East, 28 per cent in both the North West and Wales, and just 19 per cent in the South East.



Two-thirds of families with dependant children in Northern Ireland and the South East involved married couples, compared with fewer than 60 per cent in the North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber and Wales.



Lower proportions of married couples tend to be accompanied by higher proportions of cohabiting couples with children - 17 per cent in the North East compared with 9 per cent in Northern Ireland, the ONS said.



The report also found child obesity rates were high in urban areas such as Hackney in east London (16 per cent), Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester, and low in Brighton and Hove (6 per cent), Wokingham, Stockport, Sheffield, Windsor and Kingston upon Thames.



A lower proportion of young people in urban areas achieved five A*-C GCSEs or equivalent, compared with their rural counterparts in all regions except London, where non-urban areas cover a very small minority of pupils.



But there was also a significant variation in levels of attainment between urban areas, with more than 65 per cent of children attaining five A*-C grades in Gateshead, Trafford, Wakefield, Solihull and Belfast in 2006/07 and fewer than 55 per cent attaining the same results in Sheffield, Barnsley and Bradford, Coventry, Derby, Nottingham and Leicester.

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