The UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre examined six different aspects in an attempt to quantify children’s well-being: material well-being, health and safety, education, peer and family relationships, behaviours and risks, and young people’s own subjective sense of well-being.
The Netherlands topped the survey, closely followed by Sweden. Completing the top five were Denmark, Finland and Spain .
Sweden got top marks on three of the measures: material well-being, health and safety and behaviours and risks. The country lost ground however in the area of peer and family relationships, ranking in 15th position.
Ireland and Canada both fared reasonably well, coming in at ninth and twelfth place respectively.
Of the 21 countries studies, the United States scored second lowest, with the United Kingdom occupying the bottom berth.
“All countries have weaknesses to be addressed” said Innocenti Director Marta Santos Pais in a statement.
“No single dimension of well-being stands as a reliable proxy for child well-being as a whole and several OECD countries find themselves with widely differing rankings for different dimensions of children’s lives,” he added.