Incidence, Depth and Severity of Children in Poverty

Recently, the first ever estimate of the number of children living poverty in developing countries was undertaken. The incidence of child poverty was estimated by establishing how many children suffer severe deprivation in at least one out of seven indicators which are internationally recognized as their rights as well as constitutive of poverty. This is a major step forward in the analysis of poverty.
53-desnutridocambodiaIn this Working Paper, we generalize these findings on the incidence of children living in poverty by exploring how to estimate the depth and severity of child poverty. Two countries can have the same proportion of children living in poverty; however, the actual plight of children could be very different depending on how many deprivations, on average, children suffer. In addition, even if they suffer from the same average number of deprivations, these deprivations could be the same for all children or be very unevenly distributed.

We show how these considerations can be used to estimate the depth and severity of poverty. We use regional data to provide applied examples of this methodology. The method proposed in this Working Paper is similar to the one used to estimate the incidence, depth and severity of income poverty. The paper also offers some possible generalizations and ways forward for future research. Working Paper prepared by Alberto Minujin and Enrique Delamonica for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Global Policy Section, New York, 2005.
The text has not been edited to official publication standards and UNICEF accepts no responsibility for errors.  Download the full paper from the UNICEF’s website

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