Sunday, June 27, 2010

Orphan Statistics Explained

One of my pet peeves is statistics given for shock value without any kind of context. I recently found an interesting explanation of UNICEF's statistics on the world's orphans.

From The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism:

UNICEF’s statement that there are 163 million orphans worldwide has been widely misinterpreted as meaning that 163 million children are in need of new adoptive families. Many Westerners imagine that a significant number of these adoptable children are healthy infants and toddlers.

But it’s not so. UNICEF’s statistic includes what it calls “single orphans”—children who have lost one parent. As of 2007, roughly 18.5 million of these “orphans” had lost both parents. That is, of course, still a heartbreakingly large number. However, most of those are living with extended family, and are not in need of adoption, or are older than five, sick, or disabled in some way. As UNICEF’s statement below puts it, “Evidence clearly shows that the vast majority of orphans are living with a surviving parent, grandparent, or other family member. 95 per cent of all orphans are over the age of five.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be visible after approval by the moderator.