These are the latest statistics for children relying on a benefit. They do not include children whose caregiver is younger than 18.
Five points of interest;
1/ The number of babies (0 years) relying on welfare has grown 17 percent since 2005 whereas the growth in total births has grown by around 11 percent. More people are going on welfare from the time their child is born.
2/ Many people seem happy with mothers (usually the benefit recipient) receiving a benefit when their children are very young. Yet 67 percent of the children are 5 or older.
3/ The number of children on welfare has dropped since 2001. Labour made a big deal out of reducing 'child poverty'. But given the period featured record low employment and good economic growth (so we are told) the drop in the number of children on welfare was relatively small.
4/ According to NZ Statistics population estimates there are 1,149,000 children aged 18 or younger. So around 1 in 5 is on welfare. In the poorest areas this will jump to 2 or 3 in 5. That means being on a benefit is normalised and thus the tendency is towards more benefit receipt.
5/ In the 0-2 age group the ratio rises to 1 in 4 children being on welfare. That is fairly sobering stuff.
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