“Every child who is freezing throughout the winter because their parents can’t afford to buy a new jacket is one too many. With high prices and interest rate hikes that we’re seeing on top of the pandemic, I’m very concerned that we’ll have many more children living in poor families in the Nordic countries. It’s extremely important that the Nordic Region stands together to reduce the number of children who are growing up in relative poverty,” says Eva Lindh, spokesperson for the Nordic Council Welfare Committee.
Need for better data
Initially, the Nordic Council decided to set up a good basis for comparison.
“The Nordic countries have slightly different indicators and experiences. We must uncover the experiences of each individual Nordic country in measuring and reducing the number of children in low-income families. Perhaps the next step could be a joint Nordic action plan,” says Eva Lindh.
It is our children and young people who aren’t getting the same opportunities as the other children and young people. We have the opportunity to reverse this trend, and we must do it now
Reverse the trend
The proposal that the Nordic countries should work together to reduce the number of poor children originally came from the Nordic Green Left.
“It is our children and young people who aren’t getting the same opportunities as the other children and young people. We have the opportunity to reverse this trend, and we must do it now. It’s the right thing to do and it’ll pay off in the long run. I’m very happy that we’ve got support from the rest of the Nordic Council with us in this matter,” says Tobias Drevland Lund of the Nordic Green Left.
The number of children growing up in persistent low-income circumstances has increased in several of the Nordic countries. According to Statistics Norway, more than 115,000 children grew up in persistent low-income circumstances in Norway in 2020. This is equivalent to 11.7 percent. In 2001, this figure was just 3.3 percent. According to Save the Children, the proportion of children under the age of 18 growing up in poor families in 2020 was 13.5 percent in Denmark, 14.5 percent in Finland, and 20.2 percent in Sweden.