Greece Is Number One In Childhood Poverty, But The US Isn't Much Better

Tyler Durden's picture

When it comes to being number one, Greece has a truly spectacular track record: first to riot, first in the Eurozone to hit two-thirds youth unemployment, first (but not last) in the Eurozone to default, and now another less than impressive achievement: according to Unicef, Greece is the place where over 40% of children live below the poverty line.This makes it first in the developed world in childhood poverty. Or last, depending on one's perspective.

That said, the US, ranking just 5 spots below Greece, where 32.2% of children also live in poverty, isn't a hotbed of prosperity either. Furthermore, according to WaPo, the share of U.S. children living in poverty has actually increased by 2 percentage points since 2008. Overall, 24.2 million U.S. children were living in poverty in 2012, reflecting an increase of 1.7 million children since 2008. "Of all newly poor children in the OECD and/or EU, about a third are in the United States," according to the report. On the other hand, 18 countries were actually able to reduce their childhood poverty rates over the same period.

Finally, a breakdown of poverty at the state level:

The report finds considerable differences in childhood poverty at the state level. New Mexico, where more than four in ten kids live in poverty, has the highest overall rate at 41.9 percent. In New Hampshire only one in eight kids lives in a poor household, the lowest rate in the nation. Poverty rates are generally higher in Southern states, and lower in New England and Northern Plains states.


"Between 2006 and 2011, child poverty increased in 34 states," according to the UNICEF report. "The largest increases were found in Nevada, Idaho, Hawaii and New Mexico, all of which have relatively small numbers of children. Meanwhile Mississippi and North Dakota saw notable decreases."

Mapped (interactive version here):

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just-my-opinion's picture

See the rich are pidi-files

They screw the children

(and everyone else)

Pool Shark's picture




WOOOO!!!!! HOOOO!!!!!!!!!


[Oh, wait,... we are Mexico...]




Doubleguns's picture

Where is Hondurans, Peru, Bolivia, nearly all of Africa and south east asia and all the countries where we are constantly asked to support a child in Poverty. 


Have we been lied charities. Do bankers run the charities?



kaiserhoff's picture

Propaganda.  Nothing more.

James_Cole's picture

Have we been lied charities. Do bankers run the charities?

Might have something to do with the study being OECD /EU........

Sudden Debt's picture

Those poor kids now all joined the millionaires club and are running the low wage factories that destroy American jobs.

GREAT JOB AMERICA! Jezus loves ya!

Dinero D. Profit's picture

My guess is that the Palestinian children living in Israel comprise their child-hunger statistic.

Zafod's picture

too much Child allowances made certain population (Haredi jews, Beduins) have too much children. In some cases the parents just take the money to themselves. These populations also often have a lot of 'black economy' so their income isn't listed...

I don't think the palestenians enter the statistics, definately not the Gazans. But if they did we could very likely be first on that chart

mastersnark's picture

Maybe if they stopped playing with video games and Lincoln Logs (that's still a thing right?) and went out and got a job they wouldn't be so poor.

firstdivision's picture

Lol! No blstent price manipulation here

I think Mercuria needs to check their algos. FERC involvment in 3...2..

free_as_in_beer's picture

funny this is what qualifies as action in nat gas.  people still say arnold quit becasue of hedgefund over regulation.

wasn't he the first billionaire under 30?  well played.

bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

Time for seasonal adjustments.

JustObserving's picture

Does anyone matter but the chosen few in a fascist police state? US has 4.3% of the world's population and 25% of its prisoners.  Now it is illegal to feed the homeless in many places:

2 Pastors, 90-Year-Old Man Charged With Feeding Homeless

It's illegal to feed the homeless in 33 cities in the USA.

The quality of mercy is not only strained in the land of the free, it is illegal.

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It becomes
The thronèd monarch better than his crown.
HelluvaEngineer's picture

Bullshit.  All the po' kids I know got Obama fone.

Ms. Erable's picture

Yeah, I've seen 'em nibbling on iPads, too.

g'kar's picture

-->Imported US "childhood poverty" through illegal immigration

-->Imported US "childhood poverty" through executive order illegal immigration

Captain Willard's picture

Well, it's all in the definition. If the definition of poverty is below 60% of the "median income", then it's possible poverty in Chad is lower than in the US, since median income in Chad is so low and misery there may be very evenly distributed.

Moreover, these statistics may be before Government assistance, not adjusted for this assistance.

UNICEF would not be the place I would go for reliable statistics anyway.


Pool Shark's picture



They also don't include welfare and government assistance in these statistics.

Truth be told, in America today (and especially in California), you can be classified as "poor" but be living quite comfortably on TANF, Food Stamps, Section-8, WIC, Medi-Cal, MediCare, SSI, SSD, etc. 

chindit13's picture

Yes, you nailed it.

Enter Mark Twain and his quip on statistics.

Hey, I've got a solution!  Let's get that median income in the US way way down.  Less income = less poverty!  Pretty soon we can be India!

(Odd, too, the cognitive dissonance suggested in this article.  Is the writer suggesting we need more distribution of wealth, and that arranged by some benevolent hand?  Heck, why just do it according to these man-made borders?  Aren't we all brothers on this planet?  Let's lower the median income of the entire world, so we can all bask in the glory that is Chad!)

Mine Is Bigger's picture

Yeah. I think this is more of a wealth disparity chart than a poverty chart.

Yen Cross's picture

  lol, Even the Icelanders are ahead of the U.S..  They live on a fucking chain of volcanoes covered with permafrost. Hope and Starvation>> Booo Yaaa.

Surging Chaos's picture

Iceland would actually be far lower on the list with the rest of the Nordic countries, but they're still reeling from their financial crisis. Their debt to GDP was in the 20-30% range before the crisis and it ballooned to 100%.

Of course someone will say "but Iceland let the banks fail!". Yes, but they bailed out their central bank and the explosion in debt to GDP reflects that.

gwar5's picture

Kids are poor because they don't have jobs.

Pool Shark's picture



Janet Yellen would advise them to acquire some assets while they're at it...


FredFlintstone's picture

Damn right, they need to pull their own fucking weight!

Mine Is Bigger's picture

And they will be poorer, with central banks cannibalizing their future via QEs.

q99x2's picture

That's so the CPS can load them on to planes and ship them to the bankster child molesters in the channel islands.


esum's picture



and last but not least 


show me the birth certificate and show me the 12 jiveass mofos / FATHERS.... AND THE BUCKET OF popeyes.... 



Leraconteur's picture

I don't think these stats are real any longer.

Do they define poverty as not having an iPhone, or as not having heat?

Do these kids all live in apartments, have furniture, a TV, cable, internet connection and computer?

That's not poverty.

Peter Pan's picture

Friends tell me it was unheard of in Greece for children to be fainting in school due to being hungry and yet this has become common in recent years. There are a massive number of foreclosures coming up in the new year in Greece due to rule changes, over 600,000 vehicles have been pulled off the road due to inability to pay (which equates to 18 million vehicles in the USA), over 300,000 electricity disconnections and the list goes on.

Yep, I guess they might still have furniture but winter cold might have the first option on the furniture as well and as for TV, I assure you that does not fill an empty stomach.

Children everywhere have been the greatest victims of the GFC and the accompanying theft of banks and ineptitude of governments.

sandhillexit's picture

There is a difference between poverty and the collapse of a country's money supply.  it is about time we start describing the problems correctlly.  This is such nonsense.  There are 8 million Greeks and there are more books translated into Greek each year than into Arabic (180 mm).  Poverty?  The rest of the world comes to Greece to see how they eat because they outlive the rest of the developed world by about ten years.  Poverty?  They defined and named most Western cultural traditions and institutions and the children are taught pride in their culture in school.  Poverty?  They could sell off all of their coastline to corrupt Russians but they don't because the Russians build eyesores.  Poverty?    

Allowing financial mismanagement to collapse your money supply, and failing to replace it with a domestic substitute in order to keep domestic commerce and production going.  Cowardice.  

Peter Pan's picture

With all due respect you are off the track. But let me respond point by point.

1. The population of Greece is not 8 million. It is over 10 million and closer to 11 million.

2. You may not have noticed but Greece's problem is not its money supply because America is printing like crazy but still has a poverty problem.. Its problem is its gargantuan debt, its lack of industry and bloated and inefficient bureaucracy etc. Its one bright spot is its tourism but that is not evenly shared by the Greek population.

3. As for books, Greeks have always been avid readers but to bring Arabs into the equation misses the point. They are a totally different kettle of fish culturally and still locked into the paramters of their faith which also dictates their politics.

4. Wholeheartedly agree that they named and defined most western cultural traditions and institutions hence the words, school, gymnasium, museum are all Greek.

5. Sell of their coastline to Russians? Are you serious? This is what the Germans et al want. But why do it at today's fire sale prices?

6. Even if they had another medium of exchange I fail to see how that gets rid of the debt and the lack of industry which is also hampered by an aging population.

7. Greece at present produces very little and the tiny primary budgetary surplus it comes up with is both rigged and inadequate to gain traction.

8. And finally, you fail to mention the treachery and cowardice of its European partners to stand up to Turkey and tell her to back off so Greece does not have to continue spending billions on defence so that it could instead develop its large reserves of oil and gas.

Leraconteur's picture

""America is printing like crazy but still has a poverty problem..""

Kids are fainting in American schools due to hunger? I don't think so. Everyone then Vines the kid passing out on their smartphone.

That's not poor.

Poor is when you sell the car, phone, tv and computer and disconnect the internet and cable bills, but you STILL don't have money to feed your family.

Leraconteur's picture

Who would disagree?

Perhaps someone who thinks everyone in America should have a smartphone, internet, tablet, TV, computer, car and cable, still be able to afford them all, but claim they are poor?

What possible logical reason can you make to allege poverty when someone does not have something that I did not have growing up in an upper middle class family?

Kobe Beef's picture

Upper Middle Class be raycist, yo. Because Equality.

Leraconteur's picture

"" children to be fainting in school due to being hungry and yet this has become common in recent years.""

Ok, that is poverty. No doubt.

Peter Pan's picture

With anything between 30-40% poverty among children, it should be clear that any vision of the future will be dark, warped and troubled.

If their most formative years are lived under such conditions what expectations can we have of them when they have been robbed of their childhood?

In the future, it won't be ISIS that will be the threat but a disenchanted youth.

Peter Pan's picture

I don't take issue with a down vote but can someone tell me why they disagree?

Quantum Nucleonics's picture

Economic hardship can and has produced intelligent, productive, morally and ethically well centered people.  By contrast, it's the children of excess and comfort that are a dark blot on history.  Compare and contrast the children of the Great Depression with the "Millenials".

Peter Pan's picture

I can agree with what you say although I must say that the moral fibre and the family structure of the depression years was a lot better than it is today and hence provided the basis for a better future.

Today however we are producing a "darker"  more "sinister"youth which does not have the same values.


By the way you have my up vote.

Dinero D. Profit's picture



Keep in mind that much of the US population during the fantastic depression was agrarian. 


This makes a difference to your anecdotal observations.



Bunga Bunga's picture

On average, according to FBI statistics, 450 children are murdered by their parents each year in the US. 

Keep fighting ISIS, LOL.

adr's picture

The Child poverty in America represented in those figures is having a mother and six brothers and sisters but no daddy. Even though mama has no job, your brother weighs 250lbs at 12 years old since she loads up cart after cart of groceries. All the mountain dew a kid can drink and plenty of frozen dinners.

Plus you'll have at least three TVs complete with Xboxes. The house is 65 degrees during the summer and 85 during the winter because mama doesn't have to pay more than $20 a month for heat or power.

Free phones, no stress knowing that you have to accomplish anything each day, but plenty of stress caused by complaining you don't get enough free crap.

Real child poverty in America is having a single kid with parents making a combined income of $50k a year. You aren't eligible for any benefits and at that income level you can barely afford to eat.


cynicalskeptic's picture

I've been going through the 'stuff' left when my parents died (the generaton born in the late 20's).  Have been researching some photos and filling in spots on the family tree.  Lots of info out there between censuses and other records - gives you info on occupations and addresss which can be cross refrerenced now via Google Earth.

It's astounding at how low the 'average' standard of living was up until the 1970's yet there are few stories of real hardship or complaint. Families crammed in urban row houses and apartments....almost always rentals.  VERY few people in any kind of 'white collar' jobs - and even the 'well off' weren't in very large houses.  Two exceptions were a banker in the early 1900's and a college degreed engineer during the same period.  The banker clearly lived a good life, with trips to Europe and stays in fine hotels while the engineer - a regional manager for Western Electric - led what we'd call a a 'middle/upper middle class' life.  Most were tradesmen or common laborers - and few had very many children.  Most men lived with their parents until married (the women seemed to ALWAYS do so) or were 'boarders' with other families until married.  Even after marriage it was not unusual to see the new couple living with family.  If unable to afford rent on their own and without family they might even show up as 'boarders' themselves.  How often do you hear of ANYONE 'renting a room' with some other family these days?  Unmarried people have their own apartments or share apartments with contemporaries - though more and more are going back home now as the economy struggles.

Family size really dropped through the 1930's - a DIRECT result of the Great Depression and its effects on people.  I remember one grandmother telling stories of being berated by other as a 'rabbit' for having 4 children during this period.  My other grandparents - far beter off economically - had only two.   You did NOT have children you could not afford.  Unwed - and remaining unwed - mothers were not so common and a certain amount of shame was associted with such a thing (I recall comments about a Great Aunt who had an illegitimate child).  Those with more kids tended to be 'better off' - with better jobs or having long term assets (family farm, house, business).  Any kind of 'relief' came from your family - grandmothers and grandfathers that lived into 'old age' are found living with a child or grandchild. Thye might be on their own - or a boarder somewhere while still working but are almost always seen with family after retirement.  It was a relatively rare occurrence to see anyone past the age of 60 - though this was MORE common earlier when families were on farms (urban living was far less healthy).   Records routinely show grandparents and the rare great-grandparent living with married children or even grandchildren.   You see lots of cases where adults are living with other relatives - families tended to settle close to each other and seem comfortable with places they 'know'.   But mobility increased greatly in the 1930's - people traveled to find work - and relatives often followed.  I saw some leave Chicago for the Pacific Northwest followed by others - with some traveling east to NY.

Families were expected to take care of 'their own.'  In more than one case you see an orphaned child raised by relatives (confusing if you don't realize what's going on with names jumping from family to family - making sense only when you see parents' death certificates).

The 1940 census is interesting - it collected pay and employment information.  Lots of people NOT workign a full year in 1939 - in one case I know it was the reason for a family moving half way across the country with all they owned in a just bought used car in search of better prospects.  Lots of people who WERE working full time putting in 45 hour weeks with 'salesman' types working 60.  Lots of people working far less than 52 weeks in 1939 BUT - surprisingly - very few workign in any kind of government jobs program (the census records this info).

Even into the 1940's and 1950's colllege was a relative rarity - few expected to go.  Women were far more likely to go to secretarial school if they did anything more (saw that in my own immediate family) though getting married seemed to be the main path for women.  In earlier times you see women working as servants and other low end jobs when the families seemed to not be so well off but working women were not so common and almost unseen in the more prosperous 1950's (save the odd secretary or two).  Of course if a woman was widowed, she usuallly had no choice - work or get remarried (esecially if she had small children and no relatives to impose on).

Even my own upbringing in the 1950's and 1960's was a life of (oblivious and unknowing) relative 'spareness'.  I remember complaints about 'seconds' on food when a growing teen - coming from a father who never heard such things in the midst of far worse times in the 1930's.  Only in looking at financial records does it become clear at how little my parents were actually making.  My stay at home mother went back to work in my teens because she HAD to - Dad's job was being made obsolete by paradigm shits in industry.

I was the first in my family to go to college - and only one of my siblings to do so.  It was a far greater burden on my family than I realized at the time (though I was working while in school and pretty stressed over money- even stopping for a time to build up savings).  I made a 'good' salary out of college - in the inflationary 70's - but even the loans my wife and I had then were a burden.  We waited 10 years to have kids - a conscious ECONOMIC choice.  We also had only 2 - another conscious choice given college costs.  Note:  An engineer was paid $20,000 around 1980, an accountant in the mid teens - this in or near NYC.  A lawyer clerking in Federal Court (a prestegious position) made $16,000 - a 'low' paid position taken for the experience before going on to far higher earnings at a top firm.  Of note, my whole degree cost less than ONE YEAR of college costs NOW.  But relatively speaking, college costs for much of the 1900's were expensive - with no aid - compared to alternatives.  I expect that if you weren't from a wealthy family you simply could afford NOT to be working for 4 years, much less paying for college.

 You rented your own place when you got married - or (if you were better off ifnancially) even bought a condo or co -op.  If you bought anything you needed 20% down and total housing costs could not exceed 36% of your income at 7,8,9% or even double digit interest rates.  When you had kids you bought a 'starter' place and 'moved up' when you could afford to do so  (IF you 'moved up').

Yet ANY real consideraation of economic realities seems to have evaporated over the last 30 years.  We couldn't GET a credit card after graduating from college - NOW kids are offerred tehm while still IN college (with NO income and tons of debt already acumulating).  

Too many people give economics NO consideration when having kids now.  One SIL married a real loser and ended up on welfare for a while after getting divorced.  HER daughter got married to a serviceman (for lack of anything else to do it seemed) and then divorced - while pregnant.  With NO education past HS and working minimum wage jobs she is supported by government payments.  In the past she'd be depending on relatives  - who would have been vehement in demanding she take responsibility for her life.   It was one thing to help out someone who suffered unfortunate events beyond their control - I saw one family who raised an orphaned nephew as their own when his mother died in childbirth (the end of that tale remains in my memory).  But if you screwed up...... One of my grandmothers married 'badly' and wanted to return home after giving birth to her first child.  Her parents told her she'd 'made her bed and now had to sleep in it.'  Their (warranted) unhappiness remains clear - and unabated - in photos over the years.

Divorce was almost unheard of in the generations I've plotted out.  It was economic suicide for women.  In one of the few cases I encountered, the woman is shown as a 'boarder' in a house close to her parent and working as a 'clerk' - later living home and nnever remarrying.  In the only other case I've encountered the motherliterally 'disappears' when children are grown.  The only reason I know a divorce occurred is a notation on the husband's death certificate.  HE remains a regular presence - showing in photos and such until he dies.  

I am not advocating staying in a truly bad marriage BUT I see far more divorces in my current extended family than marriages that have lasted.  Too often the reasons for the divorce are something like 'wanting more' or 'not being happy'.  In EVERY case both the man and women ended up worse off financially after the divorce.  I know for a fact that in the past infideliteies were 'tolerated' because the economic effect of divorce was too severe (not that I think that is good but my point is that even when there were very REal and SERIOUS reasons for divorce, it simply did NOT occur in the past).  The grandmother that 'married bad' had a philandering husband - a fact all too well known.  Yet today's divorces often seem to occur not for any concrete reason like infidelity or abuse but a wanting for some overidealized marriage which may never exist.

I'm not advocating a return to complete sef reliance - with NO government safety net but it dles seem that those receiving 'assistance' are getting far more than earlier 'working class' people EVER had - yet they expect EVEN MORE.    


The concept that you need to make RESPONSIBLE choices - and live with the consequences of your actions seems completely absent today.  That is clear in our single mother niece and too many others her age.  

Kobe Beef's picture

I advocate a return to self-reliance. If you don't work, you don't eat. And no, I don't give a shit if fifty million entitled human tapeworms and their brood have to starve to make it so. Die faster, parasites.