Child poverty in Armenia 2016

First comprehensive national estimates of multidimensional child poverty in Armenia

 In a poor suburb lives this family with 11 children. Two boys and two girls playing a game sitting on the floor.
UNICEF Armenia/2016/Pirozzi


This report provides the first comprehensive national estimates of multidimensional child poverty in Armenia, measured using the Multiple Overlapping Deprivation1 Analysis (MODA) methodology developed by the UNICEF Office of Research. In addition, this report analyses multidimensional poverty together with monetary poverty, providing estimates of the degree to which the two measures of child poverty overlap, and offering a comprehensive picture of child poverty in the national context. 

Multidimensional poverty and its monitoring are part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The sustainable development goals set by the post-2015 Development Agenda make a clear statement in Goal 1.2: “By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.”

In Armenia, 64 per cent of children are deprived in 2 or more dimensions. The headcount is as high as 82 per cent in rural areas, while it is 53 per cent in urban settings. Nationwide 12 per cent of children are not deprived in any dimension. However this is true for only 3 per cent of children in rural areas, while 18 per cent of children in urban areas do not suffer any deprivation. Children who are deprived, are deprived on average in three dimensions at the same time.

Most children are deprived in Utilities, Housing and Leisure. Utilities is defined here as a combination of poor water supply and heating, while housing is defined by crowded living space and reported housing problems. Leisure is measured as a combination of recreation items and space to play. There is a sharp rural/urban divide in the utilities dimension: 87 per cent of children in rural areas are deprived in utilities, a combination of poor access to water and heating. The second relevant divide is found in information: 57 per cent of rural children are deprived of access to information, while this is true for only one third of children in urban settings. However, there are no differences in leisure deprivation rates by area of residence. At the same time, there are no significant gender differences either in deprivation distribution or particular dimensions.

Almost one in three children are both poor and deprived. 28 per cent of children are deprived (in 2 or more dimensions) and live in monetary-poor households. These children are the most vulnerable, and should be prioritized by social policies. At the same time, 36 per cent of children are deprived, but do not live in poor households. These children need direct intervention to tackle deprivation, and are at risk of being missed by policies that only address monetary poverty.

Younger children are mostly deprived in Nutrition. About one third of children age 0-5 are deprived in nutrition, and 23 per cent of children age 3-5 are deprived in early childhood education. The highest deprivation rates for this age groups are found in information (49 per cent), utilities (48 per cent) and housing (51 per cent).

Older children are mostly deprived in Leisure and Social Relations. Both children age 6-14 and age 15-17 have their highest deprivation in leisure, defined as not having a space to play outside or not having books or toys. Almost one half of children age 6-14 are also deprived in social relations. 37 per cent of children age 6-14 are deprived in education (defined as education resources), while 12 per cent of children age 15-17 are not in education or training.

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A half face of a girl with braided hair.


UNICEF Armenia

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