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So, How Are the Kids?

Most people in the U.S. know UNICEF most tangibly from those little boxes trick-or-treaters collect coins in on Halloween. Obviously, the United Nations Children's fund does more than turn kids into double-solicitors for one night every October. In UNICEF's attempts to address the needs of the world's children, they do quite a bit of studying in order to ascertain where those needs might lie. For example, their State of the World's Children 2007 reports on children in almost every nation in the world, with statistics, video profiles of individual children, and interactive charts and graphs.

Last week, UNICEF released another report, Child Poverty in Perspective: An Overview of Child Well-Being in Rich Countries, which specifically addresses childhood in the 21 most-developed nations in the world (including the U.S., U.K., and much of Western Europe). The study uses six categories: material well-being, family and peer relationships, health and safety, behavior and risks, and children's own sense of well-being (educational and subjective).

In overall well-being, the U.S. and U.K. respectively place 20th and 21st out of 21 countries—a sobering thought—and rank in the bottom third in five of the six categories studied. dutchkid.jpg

Top Ten Countries in Overall Child Well-Being
1. Netherlands
2. Sweden
3. Denmark
4. Finland
5. Spain
6. Switzerland
7. Norway
8. Italy
9. Republic of Ireland
10. Belgium

Full Report [UNICEF pdf]
Child Study Finds Big Divisions [BBC]
UNICEF Report: Key Points at a Glance [BBC]

Photo of Dutch child by .eti

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 23, 2007 12:30 PM.

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