Facts About Orphans


  • There were an estimated 153,000,000 orphans worldwide as of 2012, but in 2019 that number has come down to 140,000,000.  Some lost both parents, some lost one parent and some are “virtual” orphans that have been turned out into the streets by their families often referred to as “street kids”.  It is great to see the numbers come down by 13,000,000 but there are still 140,000,000!!
  • Almost 15.1 million of these 140,000,000 have lost both their parents; the majority of them are in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, 61 million of them being from Asia.
  • Of the majority of orphans, a striking 95% are over the age of five.

Locally in America

  • In the United States, there are over 400,000 youth in foster care coming down from 700,000 in 2012.  Thankfully that number is decreasing, but there is still much to do to bring that number even lower. One third of those children are available for adoption.  Most of the children in foster care are in California and Texas.
  • In the year 2012, 38,000 children aged out of being an orphan having never found a family.  In 2019, there are now about 20,000 that will age out.
  • In Orange County, CA there are approximately 3,000 kids in foster care in 2019 which is down from 4,000 in 2012.
  • Most kids are removed from their homes due to physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and/or parental drug and alcohol use.
  • Siblings and special needs children are the most difficult children to place
  • About 40% of the kids in the system are African-American.
  • By the age of 19, only 57% of foster youth receive their high school diploma.
  • Less than 5% of former foster youth graduate college.
  • Former foster youth experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at twice the rate of US Veterans.
  • Former foster youth were significantly less likely to attend any type of religious services.
  • Foster youth are more likely to be socially isolated so have a more difficult time forming long-term relationships.
  • After leaving foster care, 40-50% of former youth become homeless within 18 months.
  • Almost 80% of all California State Penitentiary inmates spent time in foster care.

*All facts were taken from Unicef, How Many Are There, Adoption.com, fostercare2.org and numerous nonprofits that had correlating consistent information after the year 2012