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 2016



  • It is estimated that 140 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).


  • 264 million children and youth are out of school (UNESCO)
  • As of the start of 2014, 1 in 11 children of primary-school age is out of school, totaling 59 million children (UNICEF).


  • There are 62.8 million children worldwide who suffer from acute malnutrition (World Bank).
  • In 2014, 1 in 7 children were estimated to be underweight in less developed regions (WHO).
  • In 2014, about 16 percent—or 95 million children—of children under 5 who live in less developed regions were underweight (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 2015, there were about 16,000 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).
  • 5.9 million children under the age of 5 died in 2015, 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 19.5 million refugees in 2015; half of them were children (UNHCR).
  • Children accounted for 27 percent of the more than 1 million refugees and migrants who entered Europe in 2015 (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 out of every 8 babies born in the world is born into conflict (UNICEF).
  • There are 30 million children who have been forced from their homes (UNICEF).