|According to the latest UNICEF report, American children are among the worst off in the industrialized world. The United States ranks at the bottom, along with Great Britain, when it comes to the well-being of our children.
The U.S. ranked dead last among 21 “developed” nations for health and safety. The report measures six categories: material wealth, health and safety, education, peer and family relationships, behaviors and risks, and young people’s own subjective sense of well-being. “The United Kingdom and the United States find themselves in the bottom third of the rankings for five of the six dimensions reviewed,” UNICEF said in a summary to the report, titled “Child Well-Being in Rich Countries.” The Netherlands places in the top ten in all categories to come out on top in this report, followed by Sweden, Denmark and Finland. These northern European countries kick our collective butt.
But what about our Gross National Product, you might ask? Americans have lots of money, right? The report concluded that there was no obvious relationship between levels of child well-being and per-capita gross domestic product.
You mean it’s not all about having the most STUFF after all? One teen interviewed stated that Britain and the U.S. focus on materialism, while people in “less developed” countries are “hungry” for education and a feeling of self accomplishment. “The Czech Republic, for example, achieves a higher overall rank for child well-being than several much wealthier countries including France, Austria, the United States and the United Kingdom.”
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