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US Ranks Poorly in Latest UNICEF Report

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Innocenti Research Center released a report yesterday ranking the well-being of children in the world”s most economically advanced countries. Out of 21 countries, the United States came in second-to-last, at number 20.

The study focused on six areas: material well-being, health, education, relationships with peers and family members, risky behavior, and their own sense of happiness. According to the report, no one country ranked first in all six categories, and significant improvements were recommended by UNICEF in each country.

According to the report, small Northern European countries, like the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, ranked much higher than wealthier European countries. “A country can not be said to be doing the best it can for its children if other countries at a similar stage of economic development are doing much better,” said Marta Santos Pais, Director of the Innocenti Research Center.

Due to the absence of comparable data, two relevant categories were left out of the study: mental and emotional health and child abuse and neglect.

Sources:

UNICEF release and report 2/14/07; Chicago Tribune 2/15/07; AP 2/14/07

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