[Pophealth] Minutes today's meeting, next meeting August 8,
and Rankings of Poverty and Child Poverty in Rich countries
sabez at u.washington.edu
Wed May 30 22:19:35 PDT 2012
Present: Dunia, Sam, Adam, Leo, Don, Koju, Alex, Mabel and STephen
Sam talked about the concept of SDOH and why now, as well as the reforms in medical education regarding the Flexner report in 1910 that revamped it. Dunia then presented her MPH thesis on SDOH content in the top medical schools in the US and abroad (UK, Canada and Australia). We had a lively discussion thereafter trying to consider ways of drawing attention to these concepts.
We decided to hold a meeting in the summer currently scheduled for August 8 at 5:30.
A new report was released Tuesday by the Innocenti group at UNICEF that does ranking of countries that presents important information on child poverty and situates the US among the worst in every way.
You can download the report at
and peruse its 40 pages. Previous reports have highlighted relative poverty, as this one does (figure 1b) , but also adds comparisons for child deprivation (1a). The US has more relative child poverty than any other rich country except Romania. However there is no ranking for child deprivation as the studies for the parameters haven't been done here, likely because we don't value children in the same way that Europe does. Figure 8 depicts the amount that poverty is reduced by government programs. We hardly budge it. Figure 11 has spending on families and children. Figure 9 has the child and overall poverty rates. Again only Romania has more overall poverty than the richest and most powerful country in world history.
The report goes into children living in migrant families (excepting the US which has no data). Boxes 9 and 10 on the poverty line and the US version are great syntheses.
I found two videos on the material informative as well. If you go to
you will find the lead author highlighting the key findings and stressing the importance of looking after children.
The other has data presented as well at
This is a very impressive and revealing document. It builds on the first example almost twenty years ago that looked at child neglect (Hewlett, S. A. (1993). Child neglect in rich nations. New York, UNICEF.) that got me started in making international comparisons.
Don't expect media coverage in the US (none as of now). They don't like to cover such comparative analyses. Not so in Canada, which did better than the US but still behind many countries. It was featured in the largest circulation newspaper there:
Reading the comments there is rather refreshing.
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