Family Socioeconomics

Key Findings: Socioeconomic indicators measure the material, human, and government resources that promote family and child well-being. To measure families’ socioeconomic status, here we examine indicators related to poverty, undernourishment (as a marker of material deprivation), parental education and employment, and public family benefits.

  • In this study, poverty is calculated as absolute poverty (the percentage of the population living on less than 1.25 U.S. dollars per day) and as relative child poverty (the percentage of children living in households earning less than half their country’s median household income). The prevalence of absolute poverty in the countries in our study ranges from 0 in several countries to 88 percent in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The incidence of relative poverty for children is between 6 percent and 31 percent, with the lowest rates found in Europe and Oceania and the highest rates found in Central/South America.
  • In the Middle East, North America, Oceania, and Europe, less than 5 percent of the population is undernourished. Families in Africa, Asia, and South America face the highest risk of undernourishment.
  • Levels of parental education, as shown by completion of secondary education, vary widely around the world. The lowest levels are found in Africa, followed by Asia, the Middle East, and Central/South America, while Europe boasts the highest levels of parental education.
  • Between 38 and 97 percent of parents are employed worldwide, with the highest parental employment rates found in Asia. The Middle East shows consistently high rates, and medium to high rates are found in the Americas and Europe.
  • Public family benefits across countries represented in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) range from less than 1 percent up to 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). According to the limited available data, Europe and Oceania offer the most generous benefits.

Poverty

The ongoing fallout from the Great Recession of 2008 and sluggish economic recovery have placed a stressful financial burden on families with children around the world. Poverty is a well-documented risk factor for many negative outcomes in childhood. Children growing up in poverty face a higher risk of social, emotional, behavioral, and physical health problems than children from wealthier backgrounds.21 Children who are poor also score lower on cognitive tests and are less likely to be ready to enter school than their more affluent peers.22

Poverty affects children differently depending on the age at which they experience it. Developmental differences between children who are poor and those who are not can be detected by the time the children turn two.23 In adolescence, poverty can lead parents to be less nurturing and provide more inconsistent discipline, leading young people to feel lonely and depressed.24

Prolonged poverty is especially detrimental to healthy child development. In the United States, for instance, spending half (or more) of childhood in poverty is linked with an increased risk for teenage pregnancy, school failure, and inconsistent employment in adulthood.25

In the United States and elsewhere, poverty is often related to family structure: Children living in single-parent households, especially those headed by a woman, are more likely to grow up in poverty.26 This report considers two measures of poverty as indicators of family socioeconomics: absolute poverty and relative poverty.

ABSOLUTE POVERTY
A measure of absolute poverty allows for a comparison of the living conditions of one country to those of others. Here we use the World Bank’s international poverty line of living on 1.25 U.S. dollars a day in 2005 purchasing power, and we study the percentage of each country’s population living below that line. One of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, which were adopted in 2000, was to cut the global proportion of people who live on less than one U.S. dollar a day in half by 2015—a goal achieved in 2010.27 But progress in reducing extreme poverty has been uneven. Sub-Saharan Africa, where the Millennium Development Goal is not expected to be met, continues to suffer from very high rates of extreme poverty.28 Altogether, approximately 1 billion people, concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, still live in extreme poverty worldwide. Almost 60 percent of the people living in extreme poverty live in India, Nigeria, China, Bangladesh, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.29 The United Nations’ next set of proposed goals, the Sustainable Development Goals, includes eradicating extreme poverty entirely: ensuring that no person in the world subsists on less than 1.25 U.S. dollars a day.30

Data for this indicator come from the World Bank, which has compiled information from individual countries’ government statistical agencies based on household surveys. Because individuals and countries themselves—not a more objective source—provide the information on poverty levels, it is possible that these numbers understate the true prevalence of absolute poverty.

Absolute poverty rates vary widely in Asia, but have decreased in recent years, ranging from 0 percent in Malaysia and Japan to 24 percent in India. The remaining Asian countries have absolute poverty rates between 6 percent and 19 percent, as shown in Figure 6. China and India have achieved great progress on this indicator in recent years. In China, the rate of absolute poverty dropped from 23 percent in 2008 to 6 percent in 2011. In India, the proportion of people living on less than 1.25 U.S. dollars a day dropped from 33 percent in 2009 to 24 percent in 2011.

The selected Middle Eastern countries have relatively low levels of absolute poverty. Two percent of people at most live on less than 1.25 U.S. dollars a day in these countries.

The world’s highest rates of absolute poverty are found in Africa. In the sub-Saharan countries selected for this study, between 9 percent and 88 percent of the population experience extreme poverty. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has the highest poverty rate: 88 percent of the population falls below the international poverty line. In Nigeria, 62 percent of the population does. Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania have the next highest poverty rates, at approximately 40 percent. South Africa is home to the lowest absolute poverty rate in sub-Saharan Africa at 9 percent in 2011, down from 17 percent in 2006. Other sub-Saharan countries have also reduced the proportion of the population living in absolute poverty. In Tanzania, for instance, there has been a remarkable decline in absolute poverty from 68 percent of the population in 2006 to 43.5 percent (still a high rate) in 2012.

In Central and South America, two countries (Bolivia and Nicaragua) have poverty rates that, at 8 and 8.5 percent, respectively, exceed those of the rest of the region. Bolivia, however, has recently reduced this rate significantly; it stood at 16 percent in 2006. In Colombia, 6 percent of people live on less than 1.25 USD per day. In the remaining Central and South American countries, less than 5 percent of people live in poverty.

In most countries in the remaining regions of the world—North America, Oceania, and Europe—less than 2 percent of people live on less than 1.25 U.S. dollars a day. Spain is the exception: 2.3 percent of people there live in absolute poverty.

WFM-Figure6_2015-01

Sources: www.worldfamilymap.org/2015/e-ppendix/figure6

RELATIVE CHILD POVERTY
The World Family Map also presents rates of relative poverty to measure the well-being of children in middle- and high-income countries. These rates speak to the poverty experienced by children whose families are poor relative to other families in that country, rather than families in other countries. Specifically, the relative poverty indicator describes the share of children who live in households with household incomes that are less than half of the country’s median income.31 The higher the relative poverty rate, the more children live in poverty in comparison with the average household with children in that country. This indicator also speaks to the income distribution within a country.

Data for this indicator, which date from between 2002 and 2013, come from household surveys, as reported by UNICEF’s Innocenti Research Centre’s Measuring Child Poverty report card and LIS.32

Throughout the countries for which relative child poverty was measured, between 6 percent and 31 percent of children live in households with incomes that are below half of the national median income. There is wide regional variation on this indicator, as Figure 7 depicts.

WFM-Figure7_2015-01

Sources: www.worldfamilymap.org/2015/e-ppendix/figure7

The selected Asian countries have moderate rates of relative child poverty. In Taiwan and South Korea, 10 percent of children live in households with incomes that are below 50 percent of the population’s median income. The rate is slightly higher for Japan, at 15 percent. Meanwhile, relative child poverty rates are much higher for China and India, at 29 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

Israel, the sole representative of the Middle East on this indicator due to data limitations, has a relative child poverty rate of 27 percent.

Children in the three countries included in the study from South America have slightly higher relative poverty rates of 25 to 29 percent. The North American countries’ relative child poverty rates fall between 14 percent and 24 percent. Canada has the lowest levels of relative child poverty in North America, with 14 percent of children living in households with incomes below half of the country’s median income. The United States and Mexico have relative child poverty rates of 20 and 24 percent, respectively. In fact, the United States has one of the highest relative child poverty rates of the selected high-income nations.

In Oceania, Australia has a relative child poverty rate of 14 percent, and New Zealand one of 12 percent.

Western Europe experiences the lowest rates of relative child poverty of any region, led by the Netherlands and Sweden at 6 percent and 7 percent, respectively, which are the lowest rates in the world. France, Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom all have rates of approximately 10 percent. Italy and Spain have higher rates, around 20 percent.

In Eastern Europe, between 12 percent and 26 percent of children live in households with incomes below 50 percent of the country’s median income. Poland has the region’s lowest relative poverty rate, at 12 percent, whereas Romania has the highest, at 26 percent. In Hungary, where the relative poverty rate had been the lowest in the region at 11 percent in 2007, the proportion of children living in relative poverty increased by six percentage points to 17 percent in 2012.

Undernourishment

Another of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals was to cut the proportion of people who suffer from hunger in half between 1990 and 2015.33 While this goal has not been achieved, the percentage of people who are undernourished in developing regions decreased from 23 percent in 1990 to 1992 to less than 13 percent projected for 2014 to 2016. More than half of the monitored developing countries met their goal of cutting hunger in half.34 Regions not projected to reach that milestone in 2015 include sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, southern and western Asia, and Oceania.35

The percentage of the population of each country that is undernourished is an indicator of material deprivation, which disproportionately affects families with children. In an effort to protect their children, mothers tend to go hungry before their children in some cultures.36 Unfortunately, this practice means that undernourishment is passed from generation to generation, because pregnant women and their babies are especially vulnerable to the effects of hunger. For example, undernourished mothers are more likely to give birth to undernourished babies.37

Not having enough to eat and being poor are related in a cyclical fashion. Children growing up in families that lack the means to provide adequate and nutritious food are more likely to suffer physical ailments, such as blindness, stunted growth, iron deficiencies, and overall poor health. Children who are undernourished are also more likely to experience delays in mental development, to show symptoms of depression, and to have behavior problems. Academically, undernourished youth have lower achievement and lower IQs. All of these problems make it harder for young people to work and escape poverty later in life. Undernourishment is a factor in one in three deaths of children under five throughout the world.38 In addition to causing a great deal of human suffering, undernourishment among children gives rise to a loss of productivity that can cost a country up to 3 percent of its gross domestic product.39

The World Family Map presents information on undernourishment for countries’ entire population rather than for families with children specifically because the available data are limited. As it is, the data on undernourishment come from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Bank.40 The FAO defines undernourishment as “a state, lasting for at least one year, of inability to acquire enough food, defined as a level of food intake insufficient to meet dietary energy requirements.”41,42

In the majority of countries throughout the world with available data, less than 5 percent of the population is undernourished. All countries in Europe, the Middle East, North America, and Oceania have undernourishment rates under 5 percent. Countries with higher levels of undernourishment are concentrated in Africa, Asia, and South America, as Figure 8 illustrates.

WFM-Figure8_2015-01

Sources: www.worldfamilymap.org/2015/e-ppendix/figure8

Undernourishment rates vary significantly in Asia, from under 5 percent (Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea) to 15 percent (India). Following India, the Asian countries with the highest levels of undernourishment are the Philippines and China, at 14 and 9 percent, respectively.

The countries in sub-Saharan Africa for which data are available suffer the world’s highest levels of undernourishment. In Ethiopia and Tanzania, almost one in three people is undernourished; in Uganda, one out of four; and in Kenya, one out of five. Rates are much lower in Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa, where less than one in 10 people is undernourished. Despite decreases in the percentage of undernourished Africans, the number of undernourished people in sub-Saharan Africa has actually increased due to high population growth.43

In Central and South America, rates of undernourishment are also inconsistent. The highest rates of undernourishment are found in Nicaragua and Bolivia, where approximately 16 percent of people are undernourished. Paraguay also has a high undernourishment rate, at 10.4 percent. Colombia and Peru have more moderate rates, at around 8 percent of the population. In the remaining countries of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Costa Rica, less than 5 percent of people are undernourished.

As these numbers show, the percentage of the population that suffers from undernourishment varies widely throughout the world, and does not always follow the level of absolute poverty in a given country. Some countries manage to protect their populations from undernourishment despite relatively high levels of poverty. While the absolute poverty data predate the undernourishment data, the percentage of the population living in absolute poverty (on less than 1.25 U.S. dollars a day) is greater than the percentage of the population that is undernourished in almost all of the Asian and sub-Saharan African countries for which data are available: India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Strikingly, in Nigeria 62 percent of people live on less than $1.25 a day while only 7 percent are undernourished. A similar, though less extreme, story holds in Ghana, where 29 percent of people live in absolute poverty and less than 5 percent are undernourished. South America shows the opposite pattern: a larger proportion of the population is undernourished than living in absolute poverty. Why these differences? Some countries are able to make combating hunger a high priority among expenditures; in addition, private-sector programs, international food aid, food pricing differences, and a country’s food distribution infrastructure may play a role.44

Parental Education

Parents’ level of education influences their parenting behaviors and their children’s well-being. Better-educated parents are more likely to read to their children and provide them with extracurricular activities, books, cognitive stimulation, and high educational expectations. Such parents are also more likely to be active in their children’s schools and are less likely to use negative discipline techniques.45 Internationally, children of well-educated parents demonstrate higher academic achievement and literacy.46,47 Parents transmit their education, knowledge, skills, and other aspects of human capital to their sons and daughters, and parents’ levels of education directly influence their access to social networks and well-paying jobs with benefits. They confer these advantages, in turn, to their children.

Due to data limitations, we use a proxy measure to gauge parental education: the percentage of children who live in households in which the household head has completed secondary education. Figure 9 displays the results. The household head could be one of the child’s parents, or else a grandparent (the most common non-parental head of household), or another type of relation. In Russia, 20 percent of children live in a household headed by their grandparents. In South Africa, 36 percent do.

WFM-Figure9_2015-01

Sources: www.worldfamilymap.org/2015/e-ppendix/figure9

In the United States, completing secondary education equates to earning a high school diploma or GED. Data for this indicator come from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, International (IPUMS), the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), and LIS.48

Asian countries exhibit a huge range of parental education levels. In 2000, 12 percent of Malaysian children lived with a household head who had completed secondary education. Eighteen percent of children did so in India in 2004. In China, Indonesia, and the Philippines, between 31 percent and 45 percent of children lived with household heads who had completed secondary education. Education rates are much higher in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, where 88 percent, 87 percent, and 75 percent of children, respectively, live with educated household heads. Children in Taiwan have grown more likely to live with educated household heads: the percentage of children living with household heads with secondary education increased from 67 percent in 2005 to 75 percent in 2010.

Of the Middle Eastern countries studied, Turkey has the lowest percentage of children living in a home with a household head who has completed secondary education, at 31 percent in 2008. In the remaining surveyed Middle Eastern countries, between 40 percent (Jordan in 2012) and 77 percent (Israel in 2010) of children live with a household head who has completed secondary education. The figure for Jordan increased by five percentage points between 2009 and 2012.

Parental education is lower in sub-Saharan Africa than in other regions. In the sub-Saharan African countries studied, between 1 and 31 percent of children live in households in which the household head has completed secondary education. For example, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, and Nigeria, at least one in five children lived in such households in 2007 to 2010.49 In contrast, in Ethiopia, 4 percent of children lived in such households in 2011, and less than 1 percent of children did so in Tanzania in 2011 to 2012. The low education levels of household heads may reflect those of female household heads with little formal education, or, since living with extended family members is common in sub-Saharan Africa, the low education level of children’s grandparents.

In Central and South America, there is great variation in the percentage of children living in a household in which the household head has completed secondary education, from 12 percent in Nicaragua to 44 percent in Peru. In many of the selected countries, between 26 and 30 percent of children lived with a household head with secondary education between 2008 and 2010. Notably, the percentage of Brazilian children who lived in a household in which the head of the household has completed secondary education increased almost 13 percentage points from 17 percent in 2000 to 29 percent in 2010.

North America also displays variation on this indicator. Twenty-three percent of Mexican children lived in a household in which the head of the household had completed secondary education in 2010, while 86 percent of American and 89 percent of Canadian children lived in such households in 2012.

Europe exhibits some of the highest rates of parental education. In Western Europe, between 53 percent (Spain) and 87 percent (Germany) of children live in a household in which the head of the household has completed secondary education. Spain and Italy have the lowest levels of parental education in Western Europe, at 53 percent and 61 percent, respectively. In contrast, over 85 percent of children live in such households in Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

In Eastern Europe, between 57 percent (Romania) and 89 percent (Poland) of children live with household heads with a secondary education, while in Hungary and Russia, the figures stand at 70 percent and 80 percent, respectively.

Parental Employment

Researchers agree that poverty has detrimental effects on child and adolescent outcomes. Employed parents are more likely to be able to provide for their children, to connect their families to important social networks, and to serve as important role models for productive engagement. Having an employed parent gives children greater access to goods and services that are especially valuable during childhood, such as health care. In fact, adolescents of unemployed parents report lower levels of health.50

Parental unemployment can create stress in a family. The financial and emotional strain associated with it can lead to depression and lower levels of satisfaction with a spouse or partner.51 The family conflict this strain creates, whether in the setting of an intact family or one separated by divorce, is detrimental to children’s flourishing.52

Parental employment is also related to the number of parents present in a household. Children living with two parents are less likely to live in a jobless household than children living with one parent.53

Data limitations restrict the measurement of parental employment to the percentage of children who live in households in which the household head has a job. This measure is limited in a number of ways. It does not describe whether the employment is full-time or year-round, paid or unpaid, or say how many hours a day the provider is working. Again, the household head is not necessarily a parent of the child, but could be a grandparent or other relative. In addition, the measure does not shed light on what the parent’s work means in the context of the child’s life. For example, the data about parental employment do not reveal whether one or multiple adults in the household are working, where and with whom the child spends time while the parent is working, how old the child is while the parent is working, or what hours of the day the parent is working, all of which can impact child well-being.

The data we use to calculate parental employment are drawn from LIS and Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, International (IPUMS) and date from 2000 to 2013. This indicator is very sensitive to country economic conditions and general economic climate, so comparisons across countries for different years should not be made.54

Throughout the world, between 38 and 97 percent of children under the age of 18 live in households in which the head of the household is employed. See Table 2 for more details.

WFM-Table2_2015-01

Sources: www.worldfamilymap.org/2015/e-ppendix/table2

As a region, Asia has the highest percentages of children living in households with an employed household head, ranging from 76 percent in Japan in 2008 to 97 percent in Taiwan in 2010.

Parental employment levels are slightly lower in the selected Middle Eastern countries. Israel, Jordan, and Turkey have parental employment rates of less than 80 percent. In Egypt, 85 percent of children lived in a household with an employed head of household in 2002.

The selected sub-Saharan African countries show the largest regional variation in parental employment rates. Thirty-eight percent of children live in a household with an employed household head in South Africa, whereas 87 percent do in Ghana and Tanzania. Reflecting the global recession, the percentage of children who live in a household with an employed household head decreased from 45 percent to 38 percent between 2008 and 2010 in South Africa.

Central and South America’s parental employment rates exhibit a smaller range, from 68 percent in Chile to 90 percent in Peru. Notably, in Argentina the percentage of children who live with an employed household head increased from 68 percent in 2001 to 82 percent in 2010; however, these figures include those working even minimally in the informal sector.

In North America, parental employment rates range from 74 percent in the United States to 82 percent in Mexico and 88 percent in Canada. In Australia, the sole country for which we have data in Oceania, the parental employment rate was 83 percent in 2010.

In Western Europe, parental employment rates range from 55 percent in Ireland to 90 percent in Sweden.55 In the majority of remaining selected countries in this region, approximately eight in 10 children live in a household in which the head of household is employed. In this region, between 2004 and 2010 the parental employment rate decreased by at least five percentage points in Ireland and Spain, while it actually increased in the Netherlands by five percentage points.

Eastern Europe’s levels of parental employment, which fall between 73 and 91 percent, resemble those of Western Europe. Romania is an exception to these relatively high rates: 63 percent of children in the country lived in a household in which the head of the household was employed in 2002. In Russia, parental employment fell from 84 percent in 2000 to 73 percent in 2010, while in Hungary, parental employment rose between 2004 and 2010 from 85 to 91 percent and then fell back down to 74 percent in 2012.

Public Spending on Family Benefits

Government spending on benefits for families provides them with many types of support. For instance, government benefits allow parents to take time off work to take care of a newborn, and help replace lost income during this time. As the children grow older, government-provided child care and education support parents’ employment.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports family benefits, including child care supports, parental leave benefits, child allowances, and family tax breaks. Unfortunately, these data are only available for members of the OECD, which are middle- and high-income nations. These data are also limited because funding plans differ between countries, and in certain places the measures may not include local expenditures.56

The level of public spending on family benefits serves as one potential measure of governmental spending priorities. Here, we focus on the percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) that a country allocates to family benefits. As presented in Table 3, governments spent between less than half of a percent and 3.9 percent of their GDP on benefits exclusively for families circa 2011. There were no changes in this indicator exceeding five percentage points between 2009 and 2012.

WFM-Table3_2015-01

Sources: www.worldfamilymap.org/2015/e-ppendix/table3

In Asia, Japan spent 1.4 percent of its GDP on family benefits and South Korea 1.2 percent. Israel spent 2.0 percent of its GDP on family benefits, despite a hefty military budget.

In North America, spending on family benefits hovers around 1 percent, ranging from 0.7 percent in the United States to 1.2 percent in Canada. Chile, the only South American country for which data are available, devotes slightly more government spending to families, at 1.4 percent of its GDP.

Oceanic countries place more monetary emphasis on family benefits: New Zealand spent 3.3 percent of its GDP in this area, and Australia spent 2.7 percent.

Western European countries are home to the highest levels of government spending on family benefits. Ireland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom led the selected countries by spending approximately 4 percent of their GDP on family benefits. France and Germany also spent more than 2 percent of their GDP on family benefits, whereas the remaining European countries spent approximately 1.5 percent.

In Eastern Europe, Hungary spent more than 3 percent of its GDP on family benefits, whereas Poland and Romania spent 1.3 and 1.7 percent, respectively.­ Hungary’s generous spending could help counteract the large rise in the rate of relative child poverty that it experienced between 2007 and 2012.


21 J. D. Lempers, D. Clark-Lempers, and R. Simons, “Economic Hardship, Parenting, and Distress in Adolescence,” Child Development 60, no. 1 (1989); D. Seith and E. Isakson, “Who Are America’s Poor Children? Examining Health Disparities among Children in the United States” (New York: National Center for Children in Poverty, 2011).
22 T. Halle et al., “Background for Community-Level Work on School Readiness: A Review of Definitions, Assessments, and Investment Strategies. Part II: Reviewing the Literature on Contributing Factors to School Readiness” (Washington, DC: Child Trends, 2000); K. A. Moore et al., “Children in Poverty: Trends, Consequences, and Policy Options,” in Child Trends Research Brief (Washington, DC: Child Trends, 2009).
23 Moore et al., “Children in Poverty.”
24 Lempers et al., “Economic Hardship, Parenting, and Distress in Adolescence.”
25 C. E. Ratcliffe and S. McKernan, “Childhood Poverty Persistence: Facts and Consequences” (Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 2010).
26 Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, “America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2012” (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2012).
27 United Nations, “The Millennium Development Goals Report: 2015” (United Nations, 2015).
28 United Nations, “Millennium Development Goals Report: 2015” (United Nations, 2015).
29 United Nations, “Millennium Development Goals Report: 2015.”
30 United Nations, “Sustainable Development Goals” (United Nations, 2015), http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/.
31 Income is adjusted according to household size and composition.
32 UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, “Measuring Child Poverty: New League Tables of Child Poverty in the World’s Rich Countries,” in Innocenti Report Card 10 (Florence: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2012). Data come from EU-SILC 2009, HILDA 2009, PSID 2007, the Japanese Cabinet Office, Gender Equality Bureau (2011), and B. Perry, “Household Incomes in New Zealand: Trends in Indicators of Inequality and Hardship 1982 to 2010” (Wellington, NZ: Ministry of Social Development, 2011).
33 United Nations, “United Nations Millennium Development Goals,” United Nations, http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/.
34 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), “The State of Food Insecurity in the World: Meeting the 2015 International Hunger Targets: Taking Stock of Uneven Progress” (Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2015).
35 United Nations, “Millennium Development Goals Report: 2015.”
36 United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition, “The Impact of High Food Prices on Maternal and Child Nutrition,” in SCN Side Event at the 34th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (Rome: United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition, 2008).
37 E. Munoz, “New Hope for Malnourished Mothers and Children,” in Briefing Paper 7 (Washington: Bread for the World Institution, 2009).
38 M. Nord, “Food Insecurity in Households with Children: Prevalence, Severity, and Household Characteristics,” in Economic Information Bulletin (Washington, DC: United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 2009); United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), “The State of the World’s Children 2012” (New York, NY: UNICEF, 2012).
39 Munoz, “New Hope for Malnourished Mothers and Children.”
40 Data for Taiwan come from C. Y. Yeh et al., “An Empirical Study of Taiwan’s Food Security Index,” Public Health Nutrition 13, no. 7.
41 FAO, “The State of Food Insecurity in the World.”
42 Note that dates are not comparable. See Figure 8 for detail.
43 United Nations, “Millennium Development Goals Report: 2015.”
44 FAO, WFP, and IFAD, “The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012: Economic Growth Is Necessary but Not Sufficient to Accelerate Reduction of Hunger and Malnutrition” (Rome: FAO, 2012).
45 P. Davis-Kean, “The Influence of Parent Education and Family Income on Child Achievement: The Indirect Role of Parental Expectations and the Home Environment,” Journal of Family Psychology 19, no. 2 (2005); E. Hair et al., “Parents Matter: Parental Education, Parenting and Child Well-Being” (paper presented at the Society for Research in Child Development, 2007); S. L. Hofferth and J. F. Sandberg, “How American Children Spend Their Time,” Journal of Marriage and Family 63, no. 2 (2001); K. R. Phillips, “Parent Work and Child Well-Being in Low-Income Families” (Washington, DC: Urban Institute, 2002).
46 M. Lemke et al., “Outcomes of Learning: Results from the 2000 Program for International Student Assessment of 15-Year-Olds in Reading, Mathematics, and Science Literacy” (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2001).
47 I. V. S. Mullis et al., “TIMSS 1999 International Mathematics Report: Findings from IEA’s Repeat of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study at the Eighth Grade” (Boston: International Study Center, Lynch School of Education, Boston College, 2000).
48 In this report, we generally present data for the most recent year available, giving priority to use the same source as much as possible, which differs across countries. As with other indicators, we caution readers to refrain from making direct comparisons between countries that have data from different years.
49 In South Africa, 19.7 percent of children lived in such households.
50 M. Sleskova et al., “Does Parental Unemployment Affect Adolescents’ Health?,” Journal of Adolescent Health 38, no. 5 (2006).
51 A. D. Vinokur, R. H. Price, and R. D. Caplan, “Hard Times and Hurtful Partners: How Financial Strain Affects Depression and Relationship Satisfaction of Unemployed Persons and Their Spouses,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 71, no. 1 (1996).
52 G. D. Sandefur and A. Meier, “The Family Environment: Structure, Material Resources and Child Care,” in Key Indicators of Child and Youth Well-Being: Completing the Picture, ed. B.V. Brown (New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2008).
53 OECD, “Doing Better for Families.”
54 Note that dates are not comparable. See Table 2 for detail.
55 Interpret Sweden’s rate with caution. More than 15 percent of data is missing.
56 OECD, “Public Spending on Family Benefits,” http://www.oecd.org/els/soc/PF1_1_Public_spending_on_family_benefits_Oct2013.pdf.
57 Data reported for Romania are from 2007, as updated data were not available from the OECD.

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