The U.S. ranks 2nd in child poverty

According to UNICEF, 23.1% of American children under the age of seventeen live in poverty, which makes the United States rank second out of thirty-five economically advanced countries ranked in that category. Romania ranks first, with 25.5% of children living in poverty.

  1. James
    21 October 2012 at 11:05 am

    The largest military in the world, in fact MANY times over ANY other military in the world, and a country where people talk incessantly about “family values” and we rank second from the bottom, in between Romania and Latvia in child poverty. There is something extraordinarily wrong with this, and speaks to a malaise of priority and perspective that should not only concern, but in addition, shame us.

  2. Ncurtis
    21 October 2012 at 11:59 am

    I think the chart may say more about the magnitude of difference in income among the populations of these countries than it says about child poverty. Compare country X (population has modest annual income, but everyone makes a fairly similar amount) to country Y (population has a significantly higher median income than X, but there is much more variability in income). While fewer children in X would be considered poor by the definition of 50 % below the national median, the “poor” children of Y might be financially better off. That said, the cost of living would probably be higher in country Y–so adjusted incomes would have to be used to compare X and Y.

    Didn’t the US the standard of cost of feeding a family of 4 for a week? Now cost of housing is a better measurement.

  3. Mike
    21 October 2012 at 8:42 pm

    “According to UNICEF, 23.1% of American children under the age of seventeen live in poverty”

    No. re-read the study. 23.1% of US children live in RELATIVE poverty. Relative to other children in the USA, and even that is a measurement of income ratios and not a true measurement of poverty. Just because you dont have as much as your neighbor, doesn’t necessarily mean you are inmpoverished. There is some true abject, heartbreaking poverty in this world, and the overwhelming majority of it is not in the USA.

  4. Max Lubina
    22 October 2012 at 9:36 am

    Of course it’s relative poverty, otherwise it would not reflect reality. Being impoverished in America means something else than being impoverished in Latvia or Romania. Yet, according to the annual GDP America is one of the richest countries in the world, but its wealth is mainly owned by a small percentage of society. See Sweden, Finnland, also Germany, these countries all have well-fare states which result is that the income-gap between in their society is not as huge. It means that the standart of living of all children in these countries is more of less the same. It means that everyone can afford healthy food and afford they all enjoy free medical care.

    Thanks to American culture and history people there give a damn about their neighbours and the week and the poor in society. Wellfarestates means communism, right? Isn’t that what Americans beleave… noit all of course, but especially those ignorant Republicans. Most Americans are selfish bastards who say that poverty is the result of being lazy and all that.. Well, such a state of mind is the reason why child poverty is so wide spread in America.And, sorry to say but it is just ignorant to say it’s their own fault. Come on, get a bit more educated and learn about the world. I was really disappointed when I saw people in America protesting against the medical-care reforms initiated by Obama. How can a society deny something like free medical care to the needy? That is something I don’t understand about America. You say in God we trust, but you don’t live it. I thank god that I’m not born and raised in the USA.

  5. T
    22 October 2012 at 8:42 pm

    But the 1% fight like hell to keep every last dime. Amazing…

  6. Anonymous
    23 October 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Does anyone understand how they do the family size and composition adjustment?

  7. Michael
    25 October 2012 at 2:54 am

    So a child is considered living in poverty in America if they live in a family whose household income is the median income in countries like Greece, Israel, Portugal, etc? And only a few thousand less than the median incomes of countries like Japan, South Korea, France, and Spain? LOL

  8. Louis
    2 November 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Most of the comments deeply misunderstand the methodology of the ranking.

    Michael :
    So a child is considered living in poverty in America if they live in a family whose household income is the median income in countries like Greece, Israel, Portugal, etc? And only a few thousand less than the median incomes of countries like Japan, South Korea, France, and Spain? LOL

    Except that it is precised that disposable income is adjusted for family size and composition which means that these American families actually earn far less than the median income in Japan, France or Germany (which have household with less members which is the main reason why they have such a lower median household income than the US). And remember : it is a median, not an average!

    Notice that if you modify the relative poverty line to 40% of the median household income instead of 50% (only for the US) to account for a supposed superior prosperity, you still obtain a catastrophic 16.6% (making the US the 5th worst out of 35 instead of 2nd worst). So we can conclude that child poverty is really worse in the US than in most of other rich countries.

  9. Ron
    27 December 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Some smartypants up here would go to the extremes of twisted logic in order to make themselves feel good even in the presence of such shameful statistics of poverty in the US..It reminds me of the way ‘proud’ Americans face facts when Karl Rove was told by someone. I paraphrase….You do your own math so the results are what you want?

  10. D-Boy
    3 January 2013 at 2:39 pm

    way to go Obama!

  11. Anonymous
    3 January 2013 at 5:14 pm

    USA USA USA,

  12. SAM
    3 January 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Good thing as far as I am concerned. A murderous country pent up on killing children from around the world so we can have more cheap plastic trash and drive bigger cars deserves to be impoverished. Karma is a bitch and when it hits us this bitch is going to be on PMS, I hope.

  13. SAM
    3 January 2013 at 9:58 pm

    LOL if that makes you feel better. It say they are dirt poor and compared to other country it places dead last. Shameful statistic, BTW i am american and live in USA. this study only talk about poverty but I see american kids placing dead last in education, nutrition and health. Americans would actually place dead last in many things. USA is a failing state, and 5 years from now these result will be worst than say Chad or Rwanda.
    Mike :
    “According to UNICEF, 23.1% of American children under the age of seventeen live in poverty”
    No. re-read the study. 23.1% of US children live in RELATIVE poverty. Relative to other children in the USA, and even that is a measurement of income ratios and not a true measurement of poverty. Just because you dont have as much as your neighbor, doesn’t necessarily mean you are inmpoverished. There is some true abject, heartbreaking poverty in this world, and the overwhelming majority of it is not in the USA.

  14. gw
    5 January 2013 at 2:09 am

    This an incomplete comparison. What about South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Asian countries for starters

  15. Mark
    7 January 2013 at 9:01 am

    I agree that it is incomplete in terms of global comparisons. However, that particular ranking was only looking at comparisons of economically advanced countries.

  16. 7 January 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Max Lubina :
    How can a society deny something like free medical care to the needy? That is something I don’t understand about America.

    You also don’t understand TANSTAAFL.
    I’m glad that you weren’t born and raised in the US, as well. . . You must have gotten a “free” education. . .

  17. Yvonne Siu-Runyan
    9 January 2013 at 4:56 pm

    James :
    The largest military in the world, in fact MANY times over ANY other military in the world, and a country where people talk incessantly about “family values” and we rank second from the bottom, in between Romania and Latvia in child poverty. There is something extraordinarily wrong with this, and speaks to a malaise of priority and perspective that should not only concern, but in addition, shame us.

  18. Jake
    12 January 2013 at 12:54 am

    Americans have become so spoiled that they complain about “not having enough” or in poverty just because they can’t get their WANTS — junk food, soda, processed food.

    Try living in India, Pakistan, Southeast Asia and I bet the “poorest Americans” will be considered RICH over there.

    I have encountered many “poor Americans” who can’t pay their health bills and get healthier food but they own the latest TABLETS, SMARTPHONES, MACBOOKS!

    Talk about “poverty”. Before complain, learn your PRIORITY

  19. sushi
    15 April 2013 at 1:12 am

    Jake :
    Americans have become so spoiled that they complain about “not having enough” or in poverty just because they can’t get their WANTS — junk food, soda, processed food.
    Try living in India, Pakistan, Southeast Asia and I bet the “poorest Americans” will be considered RICH over there.
    I have encountered many “poor Americans” who can’t pay their health bills and get healthier food but they own the latest TABLETS, SMARTPHONES, MACBOOKS!
    Talk about “poverty”. Before complain, learn your PRIORITY

  20. Zipper666
    15 April 2013 at 10:08 am

    Is this related to the figures circulating this week based on a UNICEF study?
    I ask because THAT study put the USA 23rd out of 29 and gave highest status to The Netherlands. The chart above moves both.

  21. Mark
    15 April 2013 at 11:06 am

    I don’t know. Can you send a link about the UNICEF study?

  22. Anonymous
    15 April 2013 at 6:31 pm

    We define poverty so differently than any other country. It really is an extremely skewed statistic.

  1. 19 January 2013 at 4:39 pm

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