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Global Trends in Child Monetary Poverty According to International Poverty Lines

Bangui, Tahoua Region. This mother and her child just received a non-food item kit, distributed by UNICEF and its partners.

© UNICEF/UNI427538/Abdou

Global Trends in Child Monetary Poverty According to International Poverty Lines, published jointly by the World Bank and UNICEF, presents estimated trends in child poverty from 2013 to 2022, based on three international poverty lines: $2.15 (extreme poverty), $3.65 (lower middle income), and $6.85 (upper middle income). The estimates show that:

  • The extreme child poverty rate was reduced from 20.7 percent to 15.9 percent between 2013 and 2022.
  • While 49.2 million children were lifted out of extreme poverty, this was about 30 million less than projected in the absence of COVID-19-related disruptions.
  • The extreme child poverty nowcasted estimate in 2022 (15.9 percent) is on par with the child poverty rate in 2019, indicating approximately three years of lost progress.

In 2022, nowcasted estimates show that:

  • 333 million children are living in extreme poverty ($2.15).
  • 829 million children are living below $3.65.
  • 1.43 billion children are living below $6.85.
  • Children are more than twice as likely as adults to live in extreme poverty. They comprise more than half of those living in extreme poverty, while their share of the population is 31 percent. 
A world where 333 million children live in extreme poverty – deprived not only of basic needs but also dignity, opportunity or hope – is simply intolerable. It is more critical than ever that all children have a clear pathway out of poverty – through equitable access to quality education, nutrition, health, and social protection, as well as safety and security. This report should be a stark reminder that we have no time to lose in the fight against poverty and inequality, and that children must be foremost in our efforts.
Luis-Felipe Lopez-Calva
Luis-Felipe López-Calva
Global Director for Poverty and Equity, World Bank

Global Trends in Child Monetary Poverty According to International Poverty Lines builds on a similar exercise conducted in 2020 to examine child poverty. The analysis contains records from 10.4 million individuals from 147 countries, taken from the 2022 spring version of the Global Monitoring Database (GMD) with 2019 as a base year. The GMD is a collection of globally harmonized household survey data compiled by the Data for Goals group of the World Bank’s Poverty and Equity Global Practice.

Poverty estimates for 2020, 2021 and 2022 have been “nowcasted”—that is, gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates have been used to forecast household incomes, assuming all households experience equal consumption growth in percentage terms.

The international poverty lines were updated in 2022. The three poverty lines are: $2.15 (extreme poverty), $3.65 (lower middle income) and $6.85 (upper middle income).

Approximately 333 million children globally survive on less than US$2.15 a day, 829 million children subsist below a poverty line of US$3.65, and 1.43 billion children are living on less than US$6.85 a day.