This UNICEF report shows that 2.6 million children have sunk below the poverty line in the world’s most affluent countries since 2008, bringing the total number of children in the developed world living in poverty to an estimated 76.5 million.
Of the 41 countries analysed in the report, the number of Australian children living in poverty has decreased by over 6 per cent bringing our global ranking into the top 3. The high ranking points to the success of Australia’s financial stimulus package, offered in 2009, as an immediate and effective economic measure that directly benefited children from poorer households. Australia and other countries offering financial stimulus programs buffered children from falling further below the poverty line.
However, the report card warns where Australian children have been shielded from the worst of the global recession, there remain 13 per cent, or more than 600,000 children who live below the poverty line. Combined with the high rate of Australia’s young people not in education or training and the growing issue of youth unemployment, the current improvement could quickly erode this position.