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Child poverty in the U.S. higher than most developed nations, study says

Children in the U.S. are far more likely to live in poverty than other developed countries with comparable median incomes.
Amy McDonald, Deseret News Modified: May 20, 2014 at 9:09 am •  Published: May 21, 2014

Are children in the United States more likely to live in poverty than in other developed countries? According to a new report from UNICEF released this week, almost certainly. The report found the United States ranks near the bottom of 35 of the world's richest countries, coming in at No. 34.

"More than one in five American children fall below a relative poverty line. … The U.S. ranks 34th of the 35 countries surveyed, above only Romania and below virtually all of Europe plus Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan," the Washington Post reported.

The report ranks countries using "relative child poverty" as its measure, meaning "living in a household that earns less than half of the national median," the report says.

UNICEF's report measures U.S. child poverty against developed countries — not against children in countries where children face the most devastating challenges of poverty. UNICEF uses its own "poverty line," not a typical definition of a family living on less than $1.25 or $2 per day, according to the Washington Post.

"Unicef's data is important for measuring the share of children who are substantively poorer than their national average, which has important implications for the cost of food, housing, health care and other essentials. Its research shows that children are more likely to fall below this relative poverty line in the United States than in almost any other developed country," wrote Washington Post's Max Fisher.

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