One in five children are living in poverty in Chichester and Arun, university research figures show.
Although the South East is relatively wealthy, the more than 10,000 children in the two districts were living under the poverty line in 2017.
The figures from the centre for social policy research at Loughborough University show child poverty reached 22.37 per cent in Arun and 19.35 per cent in Chichester as of September.
Arun had the second highest number of children living in poverty in West Sussex, 6,423, compared to 4,164 children in Chichester.
Anna Feuchtwang, chief executive of the National Children’s Bureau said: “Poverty can hold children back in many different ways.
“It can mean children don’t reach a good level of health or development, do well in school or reach their potential in employment.
“The government has pledged action through its social mobility policy, but the scale of child poverty that this new data reveals, means we urgently need a wider commitment from across government to improve the living standards of children, young people and families.
“In particular, we need action to address the devastating impact of benefit cuts on families, including those with disabled children, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet.”
It is estimated that as many as 380,000 children in the South East are living in poverty.
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