Children account for half of the world’s poor population – MPI 2023

Children under 18 years old account for half ((566 million) of the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) – poor people in the world, the 2023 Global MPI report has revealed.

The report reveals that 54.1 percent of poor children live in Sub-Saharan Africa, making poverty reduction for these 306 million children a vital focus for the region. On the other hand, the MPI shows that South Asia is home to 177 million poor children, or 31 percent of poor children. Across 110 countries 27.7 percent of children are poor, compared with 13.4 percent of adults. This situation calls for urgent actions and engagement in reducing child poverty.

On a positive note, the report shows that some countries recorded remarkable reductions in poverty. For example, India saw 415 million people exiting poverty within just 15 years from 2005 to 2021. And, in just four years from 2010, more people exited poverty in China (69 million) than live in the UK. While Indonesia saw an eight million reduction in the number of MPI poor in the five years to 2017.

Overall, the report, covering 110 countries’ MPI ratings, demonstrates that poverty reduction is achievable. But lack of comprehensive data over the COVID-19 pandemic poses challenges in assessing immediate prospects, according to the compilers.

Despite these encouraging trends, the lack of post-pandemic data for most of the 110 countries covered by the global MPI restricts understanding of the pandemic’s effects on poverty.

The global MPI is a key international resource that measures acute multidimensional poverty across more than 100 developing countries. First launched in 2010 the global MPI advances SDG 1—ending poverty in all its forms everywhere— and measures interconnected deprivations across indicators related to SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 11. The global MPI is produced by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and other partners. OPHI is a member of the Global Coalition to End Child poverty, which Arigatou International – End Child Poverty is part of. We believe in data and evidence, such as the global MPI as a pathway to addressing child poverty.

Read/Download the global MPI report >

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