The report said sub-Saharan Africa has both the highest rates of children living in extreme poverty at just under 50%, and the largest share of the world's extremely poor children, at just over 50%. "South Asia has the second highest share at nearly 36% -with over 30% of extremely poor children in India alone," it said, adding that four out of five children in extreme poverty live in rural areas.

The report said children are disproportionately affected as they make up around a third of the population studied but half of the extreme poor. The youngest are the most at risk with more than one-fifth of children under the age of five in the developing world living in extremely poor households. "Effects of poverty are most damaging to children. They are the worst off and the youngest children are the worst off of all," said Anthony Lake, executive director, Unicef.