Children Poverty Statistics Worldwide 2021

Young people are the first victims of poverty. Around the world, half of the children are very poor. If young French people suffer mainly from the low incomes of their parents, with consequences in particular on their schooling, the approximately 1 billion poor children in the world suffer serious deprivations, sometimes fatal.

Also Read: Poorest countries in the world

A worsening precariousness of young people

In its Every Child Counts report published in 2015, Unicef ​​draws up an alarming report on the situation of minors in France. A situation that has deteriorated since the economic crisis of 2008. Indeed, 440,000 children have since plunged, with their families, into precariousness, bringing the number of poor children to 3 million . A regression all the more serious when we know that it takes 6 generations to get out of poverty!

Will a poor man’s child become a poor adult?

As the Observatory of Inequalities underlines , rather than poor children, it is appropriate to speak of children of the poor, most often children of unemployed people or working poor. However, the deprivations suffered by low-income families weigh heavily on children. Living in a poor family is one of the components of the reproduction of inequalities , which are the main culprits for dropping out of school and the difficulty in integrating into professional life .

In his study A broken social elevator? The OECD shows how much social mobility is blocked in France . According to the international organization, it would take 6 generations for children born in a family at the bottom of the social scale to reach the average French income. Social reproduction at work both in the professional field (the children of executives become executives, the children of workers struggle to rise in the socio-professional hierarchy) and in the school field. Thus, only 17% of children from families with no higher education go on to university.


Facts and figures on the world’s poor children

  • 2 billion poor children
  • 385 million extremely poor children *
  • 120 million street children around the world
  • 90 million children suffering from serious nutritional deficiencies
  • 2.6 million infants die each year, mostly on the African continent
  • 4 out of 5 extremely poor children live in rural areas
  • 10% of children work, half of them in dangerous conditions

* children living in households subsisting on less than $ 1.90 per day

When misery leads to the death of children

Unicef’s report on the situation of children in the world in 2016 is final: if nothing is done urgently, 69 million children under 5 will die between 2016 and 2030. In question? 

The extreme poverty which deprives these children of drinking water and basic health care. Because many of these deaths are linked to diseases that could easily have been avoided or easily cured. Thus diarrhea and pneumonia, which alone kill 1.4 million children each year.

60 million children still out of school

Of course, not all of the 1 billion poor children are hungry. But they are affected by other serious deprivations, in particular the difficulty of accessing education. Thus, 13% of children aged 7 to 18 have never been to school (a rate that rises to 16% for girls) and 60 million children of primary school age were still out of school. in 2015. Here again, sub-Saharan Africa is by far the most affected area. 

According to UNESCO’s 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report , while the rate of secondary school students reaches 92% in rich countries, it is only 33% in sub-Saharan Africa and is struggling to reach the top. world average in South and West Asia. And the authors of the report to specify: ” The poorest children are four times less likely to attend school than the richest children, and the probability that they will not complete primary education is five times higher . “

A sizeable stake when we know – again according to Unesco – that the world poverty rate could be halved if all students completed their secondary studies!

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