According to the United Nations, by the year 2050 almost 70% of the world's population will live in cities, a historical first. Around the globe, families are moving from rural areas to urban centres in order to secure a better life for their children, giving them access to opportunities for employment, education, health care and other benefits of city life.
But does living in a city necessarily give a child a better life? A new report from the UN's agency for children suggests that while an unprecedented 43% of the world's children currently live in cities, many of them are being left behind by urbanization, living without access to essential services despite their proximity to them.
"The State of the World's Children 2012: Children In an Urban World", newly released by UNICEF, shows that child poverty in the developing world is no longer represented by those living in rural communities, far from the reach of social services - now the image is of children living in urban slums, virtually next door to better-off peers in the same city.
The report draws attention not only to the specific problems facing poor children in urban settings, but to the need for urban planners to incorporate the needs of a city's poorest residents - and youngest inhabitants - into development plans.
Here is a video summary of the report, released earlier in the month:
The report showed that the number of children living in urban areas is at an all time high:
But that doesn't mean they have access to better resources, whether education ...
... or water and sanitation:
You can read the full report at the UNICEF website.
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