The Slovenia Times

Slovenia tops UNICEF ranking in progress over child poverty

Children with umbrellas. Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Slovenia has made the biggest progress among 39 EU and OECD countries in reducing the number of children living below the poverty line over the past decade, according to a report published the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti.

The report, which was released on 5 December, ranks countries based on their latest available rate of child income poverty and their success in reducing child income poverty over a period of general prosperity.

The top ranked countries - those with the lowest rates of child income poverty combined with greatest success in reducing child poverty - are Slovenia, Poland and Latvia. At the bottom of the rankings are France, the UK, Turkey and Colombia.

Slovenia has the second lowest child poverty rate, at 10%, and is preceded only by Denmark, where 9.9% of children are poor. In contrast, more than one in four children live in poverty in Bulgaria, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the US.

After Poland, Slovenia also ranks second in terms of change in child income poverty rates between 2012 and 2021.

In 2012, 13.5% of children in Slovenia, or 50,000 children, lived below the relative poverty line. Today, 9.3% or 37,000 children in Slovenia live in poverty, according to the report.

Between 2015 and 2021, Slovenia also managed to reduce the share of children living in severe poverty from 4.4% to 1.1%. However, 19% of children in the country still live in inadequate housing, the report says.

Much of Slovenia's progress is a result of social transfers for families with children, labour market reforms and measures such as the reintroduction of free kindergarten for the second child.

Although child poverty has been reduced by almost 8% in general, more than 69 million children or one in five on average still lived in poverty at the end of 2021.

Following the recently announced post-flood measures in Slovenia, UNICEF Slovenija made recommendations to the government and social partners to protect the most vulnerable and to reduce risk factors for the most vulnerable children, and they have all been taken into account.


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