Our statement on the 2021 census data of unpaid carers

The Children's Society
2 min readFeb 16, 2023

2021 census data has revealed new information about age, sex, and levels of deprivation amongst unpaid carers across the UK. Our Interim Director of National Programmes and Innovation, Helen Leadbitter, responded to the data.

‘There are now nearly 140,000 young carers, aged from 5–17 years, across England and Wales, but we believe this figure is just the tip of the iceberg with many thousands more children and young people carrying out significant caring responsibilities for family and loved ones. We know that this has a real impact on their health and wellbeing.’

‘Worryingly, the census data shows the increased impacts of poverty experienced by families where there are young carers, particularly in areas of higher deprivation since the 2011 census.’

‘Young carers have told us of the stress and worry caused as they manage household bills and shopping. We’ve also been told of the increased costs that can happen in families where someone is living with a disability; children should never be in a position where they are having to choose between eating and heating.’

‘It’s been nearly 10 years since rights for young carers were introduced to reduce and prevent inappropriate caring duties during childhood and yet we are still seeing this increase in numbers of young carers.’

‘We are calling for better monitoring and understanding of the numbers of young carers and young adult carers, recognition of those hidden from any services or support, and a national strategy to reduce and prevent the negative impacts and decline in the wellbeing of these children and young people.’

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The Children's Society

Supporting young people to build hope for their futures.