Poverty statistics in 2023

  • By: Compassion Canada
A girl eating from a bowl.

With information flying at us at record speeds, we don’t often get a chance let what we read and hear sink in. Numbers and statistics speak volumes. And the needs they represent are embodied in real lives and experiences. Behind every statistic and figure, there are faces and stories. This page invites you to step into the realities represented in the numbers as you reflect on the facts and stats you might read on our blog, social media feeds or other channels about children and families in poverty. 

Psst… do big numbers make you feel overwhelmed? Then start here. 



  • Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than $2.15 a day. (World Bank)
  • The global poverty rate, which had been in steady decline this century, is likely to have increased to 10.4 per cent, nearly reverting to the rate in 2017. (Pew Research Center)
  • Soaring food and energy prices could push up to 71 million people into poverty. (UNDP)
  • An estimated 100 million people worldwide are houseless, and one in four people live in conditions that are harmful to their health, safety and prosperity. (UN-Habitat)
  • Given current trends, 574 million people—nearly 7 percent of the world’s population—will still be living on less than $2.15 a day in 2030. (UNICEF)



  • Children are more than twice as likely to live in poverty than adults. (UNICEF)
  • As more families fall into extreme poverty, children in impoverished communities are at much greater risk of child labour, child marriage and child trafficking. (UN)
  • Nearly half of all deaths in children under 5 are attributable to undernutrition. Undernutrition puts children at greater risk of dying from common infections, increases the frequency and severity of such infections and delays recovery. (UNICEF)
  • One out of five children live in extreme poverty, and the negative effects of poverty and deprivation in the early years have ramifications that can last a lifetime. (UN)
  • One billion children worldwide are multi-dimensionally poor – without access to education, health, housing, nutrition, sanitation or water. (UNICEF)



  • There are almost 22 times more people facing hunger in the world today than the entire population of Canada. (FAO)
  • Around 149 million children—about one in five worldwide—are chronically malnourished. (UNICEF)
  • If current trends continue, the number of hungry people will reach 840 million by 2030. (United Nations)
  • As many as 828 million people will go to bed hungry tonight. (FAO)
  • A total of 50 million people in 45 countries are teetering on the edge of famine. (WFP)
  • 345 million people are facing acute food insecurity in 82 countries. (WFP)
  • Acute food insecurity and malnutrition are at the highest levels they’ve ever been since the Global Network Against Food Crises began reporting on the issue in 2017. (GNAFC)
  • It is estimated that globally, over 365 million primary school children are missing out on school meals. For low-income households, the loss of school meals means a negative impact on income and food security. (UNESCO)
  • Compassion countries included as “hunger hotspots” are Sri Lanka, Haiti, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Compassion countries listed as “requiring monitoring” for hunger are Myanmar, Colombia, Honduras, and Guatemala. (Global Network Against Food Crises)


Women and girls

  • Across the world, women are in the lowest-paid work. Globally, they earn 24 per cent less than men and at the current rate of progress, it will take 170 years to close the gap. (Oxfam)
  • The majority of employed women (58%) work in the informal sector, with few to no worker protections like paid sick leave and unemployment. (UN)
  • An estimated one in 10 girls in Sub-Saharan Africa misses school during their menstrual cycle. (UNESCO)
  • Across the Horn of Africa region, increasing numbers of girls are in danger of leaving school as the drought crisis deepens, putting them at higher risk of child marriage and FGM. (UNICEF)
  • Worldwide, 129 million girls are out of school. (UNICEF)
  • Just one more year of school can increase a girl’s earnings when she is an adult up to 20%. (UNESCO)
  • More than 150 million additional girls will marry before their 18th birthday by 2030. (UN)


Stats can be overwhelming, but there’s good news: it is possible to change a child’s story.  

Invite hope into the story.

Give today


[Last update: May 17, 2023]