IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


15th September, 2023 Social Issues

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  • The global landscape is witnessing a deeply concerning trend - the increasing prevalence of child poverty.
  • In a recent assessment, Global Trends in Child Monetary Poverty, conducted jointly by the World Bank Group and UNICEF, it has been revealed that a staggering proportion of the world's extremely poor population is comprised of children.


Children Predominating Extreme Poverty

  • In 2022, children constituted a striking 52.5 percent of the total global extreme poor population.
  • This unsettling statistic signifies that every second individual living in extreme poverty is a child.

Escalating Child Share in Poverty

  • The proportion of children among the extreme poor is steadily rising, surging from 47.3 percent in 2013 to 52.5 percent in 2022.

Consistent Assessment Efforts

  • This marks the third collaborative assessment by the World Bank Group and UNICEF, following previous reports in 2016 and 2020.
  • The assessment incorporates a newly adopted global poverty line of $2.15, introduced in mid-September 2022, with updated data from the World Bank's Poverty and Inequality Platform.

Children Bearing Disproportionate Poverty

  • Child poverty exhibits a stark disparity; in 2022, 9 percent of the global child population resided in extremely poor households, whereas only 6.6 percent of adults did.
  • Children are over twice as likely as adults to endure extreme poverty, comprising more than half of the extreme poor, despite constituting only 31 percent of the total population.

Child Poverty in India

  • India grapples with its share of child poverty, with 11.5 percent of children residing in extremely poor households.
  • Translated into absolute numbers, this equates to a staggering 52 million Indian children living in poverty.

Age-Related Poverty Disparities

  • Among children, the 0-5 year age group experiences the highest poverty rate, with 18.3 percent, equivalent to 99 million children, living in extreme poor conditions.
  • The assessment reveals that the average poverty gap for children under 18 at the $2.15 line is notably higher (5.1 percent) than that of adults (1.9 percent), indicating greater severity of poverty among children.

Regional Hotspots of Child Poverty

  • Child poverty is concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, with these regions accounting for a substantial 90 percent of the world's extremely poor children.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa boasts the highest child poverty rate globally at 40 percent, while South Asia follows closely at 9.7 percent.

Impact of the Pandemic

  • Child poverty had been in decline globally, with 63.3 million children escaping poverty between 2013 and 2019.
  • However, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted this progress, with a significant increase in child poverty in 2020. While reductions resumed in 2021, they did not match pre-pandemic rates.

The Pervasive Impact of Child Poverty

  • Persistent child poverty poses a formidable challenge to the global commitment to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030, as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
  • Leaders and organizations like UNICEF and the World Bank stress the critical need for investments in education, nutrition, healthcare, social protection, safety, and security to lift children out of poverty and break the cycle.


Child poverty stands as a critical global issue, demanding urgent attention and concerted efforts. The assessment findings underscore the imperative of devising and implementing measures to provide children with a clear pathway out of poverty, ultimately contributing to the overarching goal of eradicating extreme poverty on a global scale.


Q. How does the alarming rise of child poverty, as evidenced by the World Bank Group and UNICEF assessment, impact global efforts to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030? Discuss the key challenges and propose strategic measures to address this pressing issue. (250 Words)