Friday, 16 February 2007

I don't know if you saw it...

A new report into the well-being of children in 21 industrialised countries was pulished by UNICEF on Valentines Day. Report Card 7, Child Poverty in Perspective: An Overview of Child Well-being in Rich Countries brings together the best of currently available data providing an overview of the state of childhood in the most economically advanced nations of the world. In total, 40 indicators of child well-being – from relative poverty and child safety, to educational achievement to drug abuse – are brought together to present a picture of the lives of children.

The report measures and compares overall child well-being across six dimensions:
  • material well-being,
  • health and safety,
  • education,
  • peer and family relationships,
  • behaviours and risks, and
  • young people’s own subjective sense of their own well-being.

Interestingly, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Finland dominate the table, with child well-being at its highest in these countries . Unsurprisingly, the United Kingdom and the United States find themselves at the bottom. We find ourselves in the bottom third of the country rankings for five of the six dimensions. We rank higher in the educational well-being dimension, but lag behind in terms of relative poverty and deprivation, quality of children’s relationships with their parents and peers, child health and safety, behaviour and risk-taking and subjective well-being... no surprises there then!

You can read the report at

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