The United States has one of the worst rates of child hunger among high-income countries. A recent UNICEF analysis puts it in perspective: About 20% of American children live in food-insecure households, meaning they lack access to safe and nutritious foods.
The big picture: Child hunger is a worldwide problem, with some of the world's poorest countries in Africa reporting rates upwards of 70%. But among wealthy nations as defined by the World Bank, the United States has the fourth worst child hunger problem, followed only by Lithuania, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay.
Note: Food insecurity data represents households with children under age 15 that lacked access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food in 2014-15; Data: UNICEF; World Bank; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios
- The study measured how many children in each country live in households that cannot provide access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food.
- South Sudan and Liberia, both in the lowest income category, have the highest rates of child hunger at 92% and 89% respectively.
- Japan has a rate of only 1%, which is the lowest among wealthy countries and overall.
- The United States is the richest country, in terms of GDP per capita, among the high-income countries with the top five steepest rates of child hunger.
- Countries with lower rates of child hunger than the United States include Vietnam (18%), Myanmar (17%) and Ukraine (15%), all of which fall into the lower-middle income category.