How Many Orphans Are There In The World?

by Kim

Spread the love

For reasons spanning from unfortunate accidents to drug addiction, a certain percentage of parents become unable to care for their children. There are millions of orphans in the world. The majority are dependent on orphanages that survive on donations from the public. Learn more about how many orphans there are in the world and ways you can help.

5 Common Reasons Children Become Orphaned

Of course, every situation involving orphans is unique, but here are some common causes that lead to the global orphan rates:

  • Regional disasters such as tsunamis, floods, and earthquakes
  • Drug addiction and other criminal activity
  • Poverty
  • Illnesses such as the AIDS epidemic in Africa
  • Parental neglect or inability to care for children

Read our post on Why There Are So Many Orphans In Guatemala for a look at the issues leading to a high orphan rate in one specific country.

Number Of Orphans In The World

Some countries have far more orphans per capita than others, but each nation contributes to the worldwide total estimated by UNICEF. The estimated number of orphans in the world is 153 million, or almost 11 percent of children in the world. While the reasons and locations vary, these children share common needs that are most often met through donations.

Alarming Statistics Related to the High Number of Orphans

  • 263 million children are not currently in school
  • 66 million school-age children go to class feeling hungry each day
  • Half of all deaths of children under 5 involve malnutrition
  • Each minute, 20 people are forced to flee their homes due to violence
  • 25% of the world’s children live in violent or disaster zones

Making Life Easier For Those Who Need Help The Most

If you’ve ever wanted to help an orphan or orphanage and weren’t sure how, the main ways to donate are with time, money, or adoption. Discover how each of these methods allows you to become part of the solution to the worldwide orphan epidemic.


For some families, welcoming a child of any age into their home is the ultimate way to help. Whether you’re a single adult or a married couple, adoption is an opportunity that can provide benefits that last a lifetime. Since adoption is a lifelong commitment, it’s recommended to do research beforehand to ensure that you’re properly prepared.

Donating Money

As little as a few dollars per month can make a significant difference in the lives of orphans who need the help. Donations can be made as a single-time or recurring monthly contribution, and may go to helping a particular orphan or an orphanage to fulfill their needs.

Be sure to check out our post listing organizations that help orphans, or learn more about the Hogar Heroes program and consider donating to help our cause today.

Volunteer Work

For those who can donate their time to much-needed projects that help orphanages and the orphans who live in them, their volunteer work is greatly appreciated. While many enter into volunteer work expecting to play with orphans and other fun jobs, the work may also involve painting, building, cooking, and other needed functions.

Learn more about Volunteer trips with Hogar Heroes in Guatemala.

Want to Help?

In Guatemala, more than 300,000 children live as orphans. Our team at the Hogar Heroes program of Work, Play, Love is dedicated to helping these children through volunteer work and raising funds to support the operations of two orphanages outside of Guatemala City.

Please consider making a donation to help these children today.

About the Author