At UNICEF, we don’t take numbers for granted – because every child counts
Thirty years have passed since The State of the World’s Children began to publish tables of standardized global and national statistics aimed at providing a detailed picture of children’s circumstances.
Much has changed in the decades since the first indicators of child well-being were presented. But the basic idea has not: consistent, credible data about children’s situations are critical to the improvement of their lives – and indispensable to realizing the rights of every child.
Data continue to support advocacy and action on behalf of the world’s 2.2 billion children, providing governments with facts on which to base decisions and actions to improve children’s lives. And new ways of collecting and using data will help target investments and interventions to reach the most vulnerable children.
Data do not, of themselves, change the world. They make change possible – by identifying needs, supporting advocacy, and gauging progress.What matters most is that decision-makers use the data to make positive change, and that the data are available for children and communities to use in holding duty-bearers to account.
We count Hanaa, Rafah and Ghazi among the hundreds of thousands of school-aged Syrian refugee children not enrolled in school. UNICEF and partners are finding ways to bring school to them.
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A selection of indicators and what they tell us about children’s lives
We count the children of Iorpuu among the people in rural areas of Nigeria who, in 2012, were about 1.5 times less likely to have access to water and improved sanitation facilities than those in urban areas. But there is more to Iorpuu than meets the eye.
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Developed in the early 1990s by UNICEF and conducted by national authorities, Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) are the largest source of statistical information on children. Each survey is made up of discrete modules on specific topics. Countries can choose which modules to use based on relevance to their situation. Survey methods are standardized, so data can be compared over time and across countries. Data are disaggregated by sex, education, wealth, residence or other factors to reveal disparities.
The surveys have been designed to provide a manageable framework with which to monitor progress towards global goals. Each survey typically samples around 10,000 households and includes interviews with women and men aged 15–49 years, as well as mothers and caretakers of all children under age 5. The number of topics covered has increased substantially over the years as demand for data has grown.
For more information on MICS, please visit http://www.childinfo.org/mics.html
The statistical tables display economic and social statistics on the countries and territories of the world with particular reference to children’s well-being. Download the 14 statistical tables in one single PDF file or as individual files in PDF or Excel formats.
For the latest available data, please visit www.childinfo.org