Despite being a very rich country, the United States has a very high child poverty rate, many times higher than the rate in other rich countries. Since “poverty” can be defined differently in each country, UNICEF uses a relative poverty standard for international comparisons of child poverty. By this standard, children living in households earning less than 50 percent of the median household income for a country are defined as being poor.
In 2013, UNICEF found that the relative child poverty rate in the United States was 20 percent. This placed the United States 33rd out of 41 rich countries. The U.S. child poverty rate was twice that of Australia (9.3 percent), three times that of Ireland (6.9 percent), four times that of Denmark (4.8 percent), and five times that of Finland (3.7 percent)—the country with the lowest rate. The United States essentially chooses to have such high child poverty rates because we have among the weakest anti-poverty programs found in rich countries.
This post first appeared on GlobalPolicy.TV. Algernon Austin is the author of America Is Not Post-Racial: Xenophobia, Islamophobia, Racism, and the 44th President which is the only book to analyze the 25 million Obama Haters in America.