Author/s: Katharine HallDate: November 2019
This indicator shows how many single orphans (maternal or paternal) are living with the remaining biological parent.
An orphan is defined as a child under the age of 18 years whose mother, father, or both biological parents have died (including those whose living status is reported as unknown, but excluding those whose living status is unspecified). For the purpose of this indicator, single orphans are defined as one of the following:
Children Count defines a ‘maternal orphan’ as a child whose biological mother is dead or whose living status is unknown but whose father is alive, and a ‘paternal orphan’ as a child whose biological father is dead or whose living status is unknown, but whose mother is alive. Unlike definitions used by UN agencies and the Actuarial Society of South Africa model, these categories are mutually exclusive.
The General Household Survey asks, for each household member, whether their biological mother and father live in the same household. This indicator is therefore calculated by identifying single orphans (children whose mother or father is dead or whose living status is unknown), and by calculating the number and proportion of these children who are resident with their remaining parent.
The definition of orphanhood used here differs from that commonly used by the UN agencies as well as the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA). The definition of maternal and paternal orphan employed by these institutions includes children who are double orphans: for instance, all children who have lost a mother (whether or not their father is alive) are included in their measure of maternal orphans. Using those definitions, maternal, paternal and double orphan numbers add up to more than the total number of orphans.