In August 2016, 176,210 families in the Lancashire-14 area received Child Benefit for 309,890 eligible children.
Blackburn with Darwen (20,970) had the greatest number of families in receipt of Child Benefit within the Lancashire-14 area with 40,145 dependent children. Blackpool (17,785) had the second largest number of claimant families with 30,310 children. Although Preston (17,390) had the third highest number of families receiving Child Benefit in the area, it had the second largest number of children (31,100) in those families. Ribble Valley (5,750) had the lowest number of families in receipt of Child Benefit in the area with 9,580 children.
Families with one or two children in receipt of Child Benefit represented the vast majority of the total in the United Kingdom (84.3%). The percentages were similar in the Lancashire-14 area (83.2%) and the Lancashire-12 area (84.1%).
Within the Lancashire-14 area, Ribble Valley (87.7%), Chorley (87.4%), South Ribble (87.1%) and Fylde (86.9%) had the highest percentage of families in receipt of Child Benefit with one or two children. In comparison, Hyndburn (80.8%), Pendle (77.8%) and Blackburn with Darwen (76.3%) had low percentages.
The introduction of the High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge in January 2013 meant that by August 2016, the 503,585 UK families that had opted out of receiving Child Benefit equated to 6.4% of the total number of registered families (those in receipt of Child Benefit and those opted out). The opted out percentage was 3.3% (6,025 families) in the Lancashire-14 area and 3.8% (5,500 families) in Lancashire-12.
Chorley (775), West Lancashire (700) and Lancaster (590) had the highest number of opted out families within the Lancashire-14 area, whilst Blackpool (160), Burnley (145) and Hyndburn (140) had the lowest numbers. However, only in Ribble Valley (8.8%, 555 families) and Fylde (6.5%, 505 families) were the number of opted out families as a percentage of the total number of registered families greater than the UK figure (6.4%). In contrast, Pendle, Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, Burnley and Blackpool all had percentages of opted out families below two percent.
Since the introduction of the High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge in January 2013, the number of families receiving Child Benefit in the UK has fallen by 6.6% (524,100 families) between August 2012 and August 2016. The fall in the Lancashire-14 area was 4.5% (8,325 families) and 5.1% (7,405 families) in Lancashire-12; both were lower than the UK percentage reduction.
Within the Lancashire-14 area, Pendle was the only authority to see an increase in the number of families receiving Child Benefit over the period, rising by 2.1% (250 families).
The reductions in the number of families receiving Child Benefit in West Lancashire (1,295 families) and Lancaster (1,025 families) were the largest in the Lancashire-14 area. In comparison, Blackburn with Darwen (190 families) and Burnley (60 families) saw the lowest reductions. Ribble Valley (14.0%, 935 families), Fylde (11.7%, 971 families) and West Lancashire (9.4%, 1,295 families) were the only authorities in the area to see percentage reductions that were greater than the UK average (6.6%).
Of note, only Pendle and Burnley saw increases to the number of children in families receiving Child Benefit between August 2012 and August 2016. In Pendle, the number rose by 910 children (4.2%). In Burnley, the number of children in families receiving Child Benefit increased by 215 children (1.0%), despite the number of families receiving Child Benefit falling by 60 (0.5%) over the same period.
Please note that some families with children born after January 2013 may have decided not to register for Child Benefit if they subsequently have to opt out.
The Instant Atlas report also presents the number of child benefit claimants by four broad age groups. The figures have been rounded to the nearest 5; therefore some of the totals do not sum exactly.
The HMRC have also provided information on Child Benefit claimants at smaller geographical levels, and the number of claimants by electoral ward has been mapped in the ward level Instant Atlas report. The small area results in particular reveal high concentrations of child benefit claimants in the urban centres of Preston and Blackburn. The report maps all of the indicators supplied at this level, which additionally includes counts for boys and girls, but lacks counts for opted-out families and their respective children.
Child Benefit statistics, August 2012 to August 2016 (PDF 1,041 KB)
Page updated April 2017