At the end of 2018, almost 23% of Russian children under 18 lived in families with a level of monetary income below the subsistence level. This follows from the results of the Rosstat study “Socio-economic indicators of poverty”, which leads RBK… At the same time, it is noted that such statistics are published with a delay of two years, and the impact of the pandemic crisis on the dynamics of child poverty can be assessed only in 2022.
According to Rosstat, the level of poverty among children is almost twice the national indicator: in total, by the end of 2018, 18.4 million people, or 12.6% of the population, lived below the poverty line (including children). The highest poverty rate among children (49.4%) is in the category of large families. The share of children living in poor rural families was also significant (40.6%).
Child poverty rates on an annualized basis rose sharply in 2015 to 27.4% versus 20.7% in 2014. After that, the proportion of children growing up in low-income families began to gradually decline. At the end of 2018, it immediately decreased by 3.1 percentage points. compared to the level in 2017. Nevertheless, the level of child poverty in Russia remains high. According to Tatyana Maleva, director of the Institute for Social Analysis and Forecasting of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Russia is characterized by atypical groups at risk of poverty compared to other countries – families with children and the working poor. The main reason for child poverty is the low income of parents, which does not cover the needs of the family.
In 2018, according to Rosstat data, the average cash income per family member in low-income families was 7.5 thousand rubles. per month. In the structure of expenses, almost half (48.6%) were spending on food… Almost 90% of low-income families could not afford to buy durable goods, such as a smartphone, refrigerator, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, and so on. Family poverty in childhood transforms into failure throughout life: children from low-income families are more likely than others to face school failure, and after graduation in general can’t find work, not to mention employment with a decent salary.
Experts explain the decrease in the level of child poverty in 2018 by support measures, which were mainly directed specifically to families with children. According to their estimates, the child poverty rate in 2020 will inevitably increase following the all-Russian level, but a serious increase in the number of children living below the poverty line will be avoided thanks to the current anti-crisis measures.
Experts from the Institute for Social Policy of the National Research University Higher School of Economics note that payments to families with children during the pandemic were able to compensate for part of the lost income, but do not allow returning to the pre-crisis standard of living. According to them, the decline in income due to the worsening employment situation led to an increase in the level of poverty among all types of families: on average, the share of the poor among the population increased from 12.5 to 20%, while the traditionally high share of poverty in families with children during the crisis it was estimated at 31-35%. Taking into account the anti-crisis payments after the start of the pandemic, it was possible to reduce the poverty level among the entire population from 20 to 16.8%, and among families with children – from 31-35 to 24-30%.
The poverty level in Russia as a whole under the influence of the pandemic crisis by the end of 2020 will increase to 13.8%, which is 1.5% higher than the poverty level in 2019. According to experts, under the baseline scenario, it will be able to keep it at the level of 12-13% by the end of 2020, with a pessimistic one, the poverty level will increase to 15-16%.