Glasgow, London, Liverpool and Manchester have larger concentrations of poor children than anywhere else in the UK according to new findings.
The charity's anti-poverty strategy includes more affordable housing
Seventy per cent of the most deprived areas are found in the four cities a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found.
They are home to 128 of the 180 wards where more than half of families are out of work and relying on benefits.
The charity says the government should take action act over the next 20 years.
"Strategies against poverty" was published on Monday, the foundation's 100th anniversary.
Local authorities with more than one disadvantaged ward
Tower Hamlets: 15
Hackney, Manchester: 10
Knowsley, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: 7 each
Haringey, Islington: 6 each
Camden, Hull, Middlesbrough, Nottingham, Westminster: 4 each
Newham, Rhondda, Salford, Wirral, Wrexham: 3 each
Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Greenwich, Hammersmith and Fulham, Newport, Renfrewshire, Swansea: 2 each
In 28 other local authorities there is a single ward in which a majority of families live on benefits
It highlights Glasgow as having the most disadvantaged wards, with 28.
Tower Hamlets, in London, has 15, while there are 12 in Liverpool, and 10 each in the London borough of Hackney and Manchester, respectively.
The foundation says despite recent achievements in reducing child and pensioner poverty, nearly twice as many people are on low incomes compared with 25 years ago.
The charity wants the government to use the new figures to target its help on the poorest places as well as the poorest people.
It wants more affordable housing and a more supportive welfare state.
It is also calling for action to prevent poor households being segregated from the rest of society, as well as building public support for tackling poverty.
Lord Richard Best, director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: "Basic agreement about the need to reduce the number of poor people and places now needs to be translated into a shared mission where politicians, practitioners and the wider public agree on the broad direction for future progress.
"A 20-year strategy to raise those who are worst-off above the poverty threshold is a commitment our nation can demonstrably afford. But it should no longer be something that government does quietly while the taxpayer is not looking."