Worldwide Children's Statistics

Much progress for children has been achieved since the United Nations established the Millennium Development Goals in 2000. However, there are still major issues that children around the world face, including hunger, poverty, access to education and medical care. Orphaned and abandoned children are at particular risk.

Below are statistics, which show the scope of the problem. 

Updated April 2018



  • It is estimated that 153 million children worldwide are orphans. (UNICEF).

Child Labor

  • Worldwide, there are 168 million who are child laborers, accounting for almost 11 percent of children (ILO).


  • 263 million children and youth are out of school (UNESCO)
  • An estimated 61 million children of primary-school age is out of school; 53 percent of them are girls (UNICEF).


  • There are 69 million children worldwide who suffer from malnutrition (World Bank).
  • In 2017, 75 percent of all wasted children live in less developed regions (WHO).
  • Nearly half of all deaths in children under 5 are attributable to undernutrition. This translates into the unnecessary loss of about 3 million young lives a year (UNICEF).
  • 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone (WHO).


  • In 2017, there were about 15,000 deaths every day of children under the age of five (WHO).
  • Leading causes of death in under-5 children are preterm birth complications, pneumonia, birth asphyxia, diarrhea and malaria. About 45% of all child deaths are linked to malnutrition (WHO).
  • 2.7 million babies die every year in their first month of life and a similar number are stillborn (WHO).
  • 5.6 million children under the age of 5 died in 2016, equivalent to 11 children every minute (UNICEF).


  • Children represent almost half of all people living in extreme poverty although they make up roughly a third of the world’s population (UNICEF).

Refugees and Migrants

  • There were 65.6 million refugees in 2016; half of them were children (UNHCR).
  • In 2015 and 2016 alone, more than 2.5 million people applied for asylum in Euope. (Europol).
  • 10,000 unaccompanied migrant children are missing in Europe (Europol).


  • There are over 250 million children living in countries affected by conflict (UNICEF).
  • 1 in 4 of the world's children live in conflict or disaster zones. (UNICEF).
  • 20 people are forced to flee their homes every minute (UNHCR).