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US and Britain rank low for kids' well being

According to a UNICEF report released Wednesday, the United States and Great Britain rank lowest in a study of children's well being in 21 industrialized countries. The Neatherlands ranked highest overall in the study, with other Scandinavian countries also ranking high on the list. One major emphasis of the results was that there is no apparent link between the wealth of a country and the well-being of that nation's youngsters. For example, the Czech Republic ranked relatively high overall but its wealth pales in comparison to the US.

The study results were picked up by numerous news services Wednesday, including Spiegel online, the International Herald Tribune, and Reuters. While the focus of these reports varied slightly depending on the audience (for example, Spanish news service Expatica focused on Spain's ranking in the list), all of the stories emphasized the low rankings of the two most wealthy nations in the world, the US and Britain.

The report focused on 40 variables that UNICEF deemed to be important in the well-being of children. The US ranked worst for health and safety, and only Britain ranked lower in the relationships/ risky or bad behavior category. The US's highest ranking was in the education category, where it came in 12 out of 21. The happiest children are in northern Europe, according to the report, but all of the nations have areas to improve upon. Analysists blame the low rankings of the US and Britain on the large inequality between the haves and the have-nots in each society, also pointing to lack of government and societal support of the family unit as another factor in the nations dismal study results.