Seven Children

Inequality and Britain’s Next Generation

September 2024 9781911723509 320pp
Forthcoming Pre-order
Available as an eBook
EU Customers


If we found seven typical 5-year-olds to represent today’s UK, who would they be? What would their stories reveal?

Seven Children is about injustice and hope. Danny Dorling’s highly original book constructs seven ‘average’ children from millions of statistics—each child symbolising the very middle of a parental income bracket, from the poorest to the wealthiest. Dorling’s seven were born in 2018, when the UK faced its worst inequality since the Great Depression and became Europe’s most socially divided nation. They turned 5 in 2023, amid a devastating cost-of-living crisis. Their country has Europe’s fastest-rising child poverty rates, and even the best-off of the seven is disadvantaged. Yet aspirations endure.

Immersive, surprising and thought-provoking, Seven Children gets to the heart of post-pandemic Britain’s most pressing issues. What do we miss when we focus only on the superrich and the most deprived? What kinds of lives are British children living between the extremes? Why are most British parents on below-average income? Who are today’s real middle class? And how can we reverse the trends leaving all children worse off than their parents?


‘No-one plucks the heart strings like Danny Dorling, but he does it with devastating facts and graphs. This searing book spells out British children’s lives, divided by the deepest inequality since the 1930s. Read it and pass it to anyone who doesn’t know how we live now.’ — Polly Toynbee, Guardian columnist

‘Campaigners are often told that we need both statistics and stories to make the case for change, but few have taken this as seriously as Danny Dorling. This is a rich and engaging portrait of children’s life chances in contemporary Britain.’ — Kate Pickett, co-author of The Spirit Level

‘Dorling could have just left us with the devastating stats on how Britain has lost it in the equality stakes. But his brilliant journey through seven imaginary young lives shows exactly how—and why—children face an unfair future.’ — Vicky Pryce, author of Women vs Capitalism

‘A must-read for anyone concerned about Britain’s future. With poignancy and creativity, Dorling shows us the average child’s reality, and challenges us to create a more-than-average future, for everyone to thrive. An engaging, robust book that should be on the Prime Minister’s desk.’ — Lord Adebowale CBE, Chair of the NHS Confederation

‘A brilliantly sharp, angry and informed account of all that has gone wrong with British childhood, following a generation of neglect and distraction from leadership. Dorling’s compelling statistics and details of daily life should shock and shame a nation into action.’ — Sir Geoff Mulgan CBE, author of Another World Is Possible


Danny Dorling is a social scientist whose books include Inequality and the 1% and All That Is Solid. He is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford, and a patron of RoadPeace, Comprehensive Future and Heeley City Farm. In his spare time, he makes sandcastles.

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