International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Today is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, check out our report here.

The world is facing an ambitious target: to end extreme poverty by 2030. This vision is central to the work of the World Bank Group and UNICEF, and the entire international community. Now urgent action is needed to achieve it.

UNICEF is partnering with the World Bank to improve data related to poverty, to ensure that we better understand the issue and be better placed to solve the problem.

How many children are living in extreme poverty?

Children are most affected by extreme poverty – and by a huge margin. Our best estimate, based on data from 89 countries representing just over 84 per cent of the developing world’s population, is that almost 385 million children were living in extremely poor households in 2013. Perhaps most strikingly, children are more than twice as likely to be living in households in extreme poverty - with 19.5 per cent of children in developing countries estimated to live on less than $1.90 a day, compared to 9.2 per cent of adults. This cannot be explained by a large youth population.

In fact, children are disproportionately affected, as they make up around a third of the sample population, but half of the extreme poor. The youngest children are the worst off – over 20 per cent of all children below 5 in the developing world live in extremely poor households, compared with nearly 15 per cent of 15-17 year olds.

Where in the world?

Children living in extremely poor households are concentrated in certain parts of the developing world. Sub-Saharan Africa has both the highest rates of children living in extreme poverty at just under 49 per cent, and the largest share of the world’s extremely poor children, at just over 51 per cent. Since countries without data are not included in the analysis, the real share could be even higher. South Asia has the second highest share at nearly 36 per cent. Over 30 per cent of children living in extreme poverty live in India alone

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