Published on Data Blog

356 million children live in extreme poverty

An estimated 1 in 6 children—or 356 million globally—lived in extreme poverty before the pandemic, and this is set to worsen significantly, according to a new World Bank Group-UNICEF analysis.

Global Estimate of Children in Monetary Poverty: An Update notes that Sub-Saharan Africa—with limited social safety nets—accounts for two-thirds of children living in households that struggle to survive on an average of $1.90 a day or less per person—the international measure for extreme poverty. South Asia accounts for nearly a fifth of these children.

The analysis shows that the number of children living in extreme poverty decreased by 29 million between 2013 and 2017. However, UNICEF and the World Bank Group warn that child poverty worsened considerably in 2020 due to the adverse economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, making it more crucial than ever that governments support poor households with children now and rebuild their human capital during the recovery.


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