The State of the World’s Children 2014 In Numbers: Every Child Counts


UNICEF’S State of the World’s Children 2014 report in numbers which was launched today, highlights the importance of data in making progress for children and exposing the unequal access to services and protections that mars the lives of so many.

The report identifies and addresses the gaps that prevent the most disadvantaged of the world’s 2.2 billion children from accessing basic human rights. According to Tessa Wardlaw, Chief of UNICEF’s Data and Analytics Section, “Data have made it possible to save and improve the lives of millions of children, especially the most deprived.” “Further progress can only be made if we know which children are the most neglected, where girls and boys are out of school, where disease is rampant or where basic sanitation is lacking.”

The report goes on further to highlight some of the progress that has been made since the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was signed in 1989. Some of these include:

  • Some 90 million children who would have died before reaching the age of 5 if child mortality rates had stuck at their 1990 level have, instead, lived. In large measure, this is because of progress in delivering immunizations, health, and water and sanitation services.
  • Primary school enrolment has increased, even in the least developed countries: Whereas in 1990 only 53 in 100 children in those countries gained school admission
  • Improvements in nutrition have led to a 37 per cent drop in stunting since 1990.

Despite this progress however, statistics in the report reveal disparities in advancing child rights and gaps and inequities, showing the gains of development are unevenly distributed

The report notes that "being counted makes children visible, and this act of recognition makes it possible to address their needs and advance their rights." It adds that innovations in data collection, analysis and dissemination are making it possible to disaggregate data by such factors as location, wealth, sex, and ethnic or disability status, to include children who have been excluded or overlooked by broad averages.

The report urges increased investment in innovations that right the wrong of exclusion.