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5 Facts about Child Poverty

Child poverty is a multifaceted issue whose impacts are far-reaching and pervasive. While adults may fall into poverty for a period of time, children in poverty are often trapped forever. Seldom are they able to start anew because their poverty that lasts a lifetime. Furthermore the depths of child poverty often lead to greater entrenchment in social inequality. Thus governments and individuals must commit to understanding and tackling global child poverty.
Child Poverty is real and it is poses a threat to millions of children. Here are 5 key facts about child poverty.

  1. According to UNICEF, 1 billion children are living in poverty throughout the world. Of these children, 121 million are out of education and 22,000 die due to poverty each day.
  2. 30% of the children in developing nations live on less than $1 a day. Of this 30%, 270 million children have no access to health care services.
  3. The result of this dangerous poverty is extreme malnourishment. 27-28% of all children in developing countries are underweight or stunted in growth. In 2011 alone, 165 million children under the age of 5 were stunted due to hunger and starvation.
  4. Child poverty does not only affect developing nations. In a report by the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United States ranks 34th amongst 35 countries examined for child poverty rates. In fact more than one in five American children live below the poverty line today.
  5. Sadly, the Millennium Development goal to halve the proportion of underweight children will not be reached if current trends continue. The mark will be missed by 30 million children due in large part to slow progress in Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Though these facts are bleak, the truth is that child poverty can be fought. For example, in the year 2000 it would have cost an estimated $6 billion a year to place every child in school. Though the cost may have fluctuated since then, such a seemingly large amount was only a tiny fraction of how much the world spent on weapons alone. Eliminating child poverty is indeed a feasible goal.

– Grace Zhao

Sources: Global Issues, UNICEF, Do Something, The Washington Post
Photo: Wikimedia Commons