Half the world's poor are children

Half the world’s poor are children
Half the world’s poor are children. Credit: Shutterstock

New Oxford University research on global poverty reveals the extent of the challenges facing the UN's new Sustainable Development Goals for the eradication of child poverty.

Across the 103 low and surveyed, children were found to constitute 34% of the total population, but 48% of the poor, based on a measure that assesses a range of deprivations in health, education and living standards.

According to the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI), nearly two out of every five children (37%), a total of 689 million children, are classed as multidimensionally poor. Some 87% of these 689 million poor children are growing up in South Asia and in Sub-Saharan Africa – 300 million in each region. Half of South Asia's children and two thirds of Sub-Saharan children are multidimensionally poor.

The child poverty report finds that half of multidimensionally poor children live in 'alert' level fragile states, and levels are highest in the fragile states.

The report disaggregates the latest figures for the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) by age group to analyse the particular situation of 1.8 billion children who live in 103 countries. The international definition of a child, used here, is anyone less than 18 years of age.

Global MPI estimates are higher for children than for adults in all 103 countries. Children are also deprived in more indicators at the same time. In 36 countries, including India, at least half of all children are MPI poor. In Ethiopia, Niger and South Sudan over 90% of all children are MPI poor.

Sabina Alkire, director of OPHI at the University of Oxford, says: 'These new results are deeply disturbing as they show that are disproportionately poor when the different dimensions of poverty are measured. This is a wake-up call to the international community which has adopted the global Sustainable Development Goals and takes seriously Goal 1, the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions. Children are our future workers, parents and citizen/voters. Investing in them brings benefits now and also into the future.'

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Report reveals challenges of UN's new sustainable development goals

More information: For more information, see www.ophi.org.uk/multidimensional-poverty-index
Citation: Half the world's poor are children (2017, June 2) retrieved 17 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-06-world-poor-children.html
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Jun 02, 2017
It sounds like we could prevent most of the poor from having to support more children by providing free condoms to everyone in the world who wants it. Being forced to feed and care for children just because you are too poor to prevent them is the leading cause of continued poverty. The birth rate will plummet once all couples have an option to use birth control that isn't tied to their income. It might also stop the HIV problem once and for all as well. Two generations of universal condom allotments should end up being the cheapest option to eliminate poverty in my opinion at least.

Jun 02, 2017
It sounds like we could prevent most of the poor from having to support more children by providing free condoms to everyone

I think you're missing the point why poor people in these regions are having (so many) children. It's not because they don't know how to count (or use birth control)

There is no healthcare system in these countries. There is no system for caring for the elderly in these countries. So the only way out is to have as many children as possible in the hope that some of them survive and one of them might strike it 'rich' and be able to support his/her parents in old age or during a medical crisis. Supplying condoms isn't addressing this incentive.

To make them have less children we have to raise their level of wealth and aid them in setting up health care and security systems for old age. It works (as can be attested to by the decline in birth rates in all developed countries that have these systems in place)

Jun 02, 2017
Well, I pulled out every time until I was married and had a career. Having several children does not solve any problems, and you should only want to have children if you have a way to provide for them. I do however have sympathy for anyone who was able to provide for their children, but lost that ability through circumstance.

Jun 02, 2017
Half the world's poor are children

Maybe they should stop playing and go get a job.

Jun 03, 2017
what about, don't make more children than you can feed?

I think about it when I ponder whether to have kids, so should do others. Certainly, I am not interested to feed/raise someone else's kids

Jun 03, 2017
what about, don't make more children than you can feed?

Please check the realities of poor countries.
Children there are made so that they can help feed the parents. It's not like in the pampered west where kids just kick back, get a room full of toys, get spoon fed until they're 18 and supported until they're in their 30's. In poor countries kids help feed the families by either working or taking over home duties as soon as possible (and we're talking as soon as age six in some cases).

Jun 03, 2017
Children there are made so that they can help feed the parents. It's not like in the pampered west where...
actually, this is exactly the same as the "pampered" west: historically speaking, that is
(Or, go visit a typical "indian" res still... )

not to say that we don't have poverty or poor in western and first world nations today, mind you

some posters haven't ever seen real poverty though.

Jun 04, 2017
The Socialist/Marxists have the solution. Just bring the other half down to poverty level too, so everyone in their country is equally poor, except for the elite nomenklatura, who will stuff their offshore accounts. Hey, it worked in Venezuela, Cuba, Cambodia, Laos, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, North Korea, China, Russia, 1984, et al.

Jun 12, 2017
How much you want to bet that at least 60% of all pregnancies are accidental, worldwide?

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