Population ratio: One in three children in the world is living and growing up in a slum, living in incredibly difficult conditions with poor access to clean water, health care or educational opportunity[i].
Child mortality under 5: 20% of – or one of five – street or slum children don’t live to see the age of 5 years old.[ii] Compare that to the UK, where 4 children out of 1,000 die before reaching the age of 5.[iii] In other words, children living in slums in the developing world are 50 times more likely to die before the age of five years compared to children of the same age living in the UK.
Life expectancy: Those children that do survive into adulthood can expect to live to an average age of 55[iv]. The average life expectancy in the UK is 81 years[v]. In other words, a slum child can expect to have their life cut short by up to a third of that of children living in countries such as the UK.
Poor health: The high infant mortality and low life expectancy have a direct link to communicable diseases that result from high density living, the use of unsafe water, and inadequate sanitation, leaving private vendors to exploit the situation further by charging up to 50 times the price for safe water[vi]. The equivalent price in the UK, if the average cost were multiplied by 50, would amount to a whopping bill of £19,450 for an average sized family for the year[vii].
Stunting: Children living in slums or on the streets are 4 times more likely to be affected by stunting, when compared to children in developed countries, due primarily to the poor health that plagues them throughout their life[viii].
[i] UNICEF, 2012. The State of the World’s Children – Children in an Urban World
[ii] UNICEF, 2012. The State of the World’s Children – Children in an Urban World
[iii] UN IGME, 2015. Levels and Trends in Child Mortality
[iv] UN-Habitat, 2015. Slum Almanac 2015/2016 – Tracking Improvement In The Lives of Slum Dwellers
[v] Office For National Statistics, 2016. Health State Life Expectancies, UK: 2013-2015
[vi] UN-Habitat, 2015. Slum Almanac 2015/2016 – Tracking Improvement In The Lives of Slum Dwellers
[vii] Water UK, 2016. Press Release: Household water and sewerage bills for 2016-17
[viii] World Health Organisation, 2014. Facts: urban settings as a social determinant of health