Child deprivation in Malaysia. Final report for UNICEF.

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Abstract

Aim of the study
The purpose of this report is to provide an analysis of disparities in the deprivation of children in Malaysia. Disparities in childhood deprivation are analysed using Household Income and Basic Amenities Survey (HIS/BA) data for the years 2009, 2012 and 2014. The research aimed to address the following questions:
(1) What is the profile of children who are below the national poverty line? In the bottom 40% of poor households? In vulnerable households?
(2) What are the disparities that exist among those children who are poor and non-poor? Or vulnerable to poverty? In different states and districts? In different ethnic groups?
(3) What are the gaps in government social protection and welfare programs that address the needs of children who are poor?
(4) What are the policy recommendations that we can make based on the disaggregation of data and analysis of income and non-income indicators?
Children in low-income households
 The percentage of children under the national poverty line (PL/I) declined significantly between 2009 and 2014 – from 9% to 2%. In both years, however, the rate is higher than among working-age persons or elderly persons.
 15% of children live in households with incomes that are less than twice the PL/I.
 The share of children in low-income households (defined as households with less than half the median income) also declined between 2009 and 2014, from 22.7% to 17.5%. However, the rate of children in low-income households remained higher in both years than the rate for working-age adults and elderly persons.
 Compared with OECD countries, the share of children in low-income households in Malaysia is high.
 Adjusting household income to take account of household size and composition (or equivalisation) matters. If the B40 is calculated as the bottom 40% of households in the distribution of household incomes that are unadjusted for household size and composition, then the B40 contains 38% of all children. If the B40 is equivalised to take account of household size and composition, then the B40 contains 47% of all children.
 Compared with OECD countries, the efficacy of the Malaysian tax and transfer system in reducing the incidence of low-income households is modest.
Children experiencing non-income deprivation
 Eleven non-income poverty indicators (relating to education, health and housing/environmental conditions) were examined for this report.
 Between 2009 and 2014 the proportion of persons who were deprived on almost all of these indicators declined steadily. While the proportion of children deprived on most of these indicators also declined between 2012 and 2014, such decline was often less pronounced.
 Improvement in non-income deprivation indicators occurred throughout the distribution of household incomes; that is, children living in households with average
Child Deprivation in Malaysia
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incomes benefited as much from this improvement as did children living in households with lower incomes.
 Children in households with seven or more people experienced significantly higher non-income deprivation than children in households with six people or fewer.
 Children in rural areas, and especially rural areas of Sabah and Sarawak, experienced significantly more non-income deprivation than children in urban areas.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMalaysia
PublisherUNICEF
Number of pages114
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Keywords

  • social and economic policy
  • poverty
  • Malaysia
  • Children

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