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UNICEF Statistics on children in Africa 2014

Key Statistics

In Africa, mortality rates among children under five decreased by 45 per cent between 1990 and 2012, but still half of the world's 6.6 million under-five deaths occur in Africa.

Pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea account for 40% of all under-five deaths in Africa.

  • At least 1 in 3 children under five in Africa were stunted in 2011.
  • In 2012, there were an estimated 2.9 million children under 15 years living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Over half of the world’s out-of-school children (33 million) live in Africa.
  • The population in Africa with access to an improved drinking source more than doubled from 1990 to 2012.
  • There has been major progress in the last decade in the use of insecticide-treated nets among children.

Child Malnutrition in Africa

Key facts:

  • Stunting, or being too short for one’s age, is linked with irreversible long term consequences; it diminishes chances of succeeding in school and of living healthy and productive lives.
  • Africa is the only region with nearly negligible changes in the percentage(%) of stunted children since 1990.
  • While other regions have halved the number of stunted children, Africa has increased by one third (due both to population growth and minimal progress in reduction of the percentage of stunted children).
  • There are stark disparities between the richest and poorest in most AU sub-regions.

Education in Africa

In Africa, boys are more likely to be enrolled in primary school than girls

Key facts: 

  • Over half of the world’s out-of-school children (33 million) live in Africa. 
  • Girls are more likely to be out of school than boys.
  • Children with disabilities are over-represented in the out-of-school population. 
  • Progress in reducing the out-of-school children population has slowed down since 2005.
  • Many children fail to complete a full primary education and fail to master basic literacy and numeracy skills.

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