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Well-being of U.S. Children Ranked 26th of 29 Wealthy Countries

U.S. Ranks 26th of 29 Wealthy Countries

 in UNICEF 2011 Report

Child Well-Being in Rich Countries:  A Comparative Overview 


UNICEF's 2011 study evalutated child well-being on the following five criteria:

  1. Material Well-Being
  2. Health and Safety
  3. Education (both preschool and college attendance)
  4. Behaviors and Risks
  5. Housing and Environment

Below is a sampling of those ratings.

(The full study can be accessed via the following link:

The bottom four places on the full list are occupied by:

  • three of the poorest countries in the survey, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania and 

  • one of the richest, the United States

The need to promote the well-being of children is widely accepted as a moral imperative.

It is equally important on a practical level; failure to protect and promote the well-being of children is associated with increased risk across a wide range of later-life outcomes

Of a particular interest is the 23rd of 29 ranking of U.S. Children in the behaviors and Risks category. This ranking is based on the assessment of the ten factors:


  1. Being overweight

  2. Eating breakfast

  3. Eating fruit

  4. Exercising

  5. Teenage fertility rate

  6. Smoking

  7. Alcohol use

  8. Cannabis use

  9. Fighting

  10. Being bullied

Although the behaviors and risks in which children participate/experience are impacted by external factors and critical policy changes are needed at the national, state, and community level 

the parenting skills of their caregivers are the 

single most important factor impacting their behaviors and choices

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