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Children can experience poverty even if they are not severely deprived or abused

Growing up in families whose material conditions are close to the norms in the community is important for children. Research on how children themselves experience and feel about poverty suggests that disparities - when children do not have access to the same opportunities as other children - hurts young people in poor and rich countries alike. Deprivation of goods and services that adults might not always regard as 'essential' can be viewed differently by children, who may feel they are denied the lifestyles and opportunities available to other children.

Disparities between countries and households within the same country have increased in the past decade despite periods of rapid economic growth in many developing countries. Large segments of the population in China and India, for example, have received only modest benefits from the rapid economic growth of recent years. Similarly, research on child poverty in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries has shown that the proportion of children living in relative poverty - defined as households where income was less than half of the national median - has risen since the late 1980s. [figure 2.4]