Wednesday, February 28, 2007

M.T. Anderson brings to our attention:

U.S., Britain
fare poorly in children survey
UNICEF ranks the well-being of youngsters in 21 developed countries.

From the Los Angeles Times:
The U.S. was at the bottom of the list in health and safety, mostly because of high rates of child mortality and accidental deaths. It was next to last in family and peer relationships and risk-taking behavior. The U.S. has the highest proportion of children living in single-family homes, which the study defined as an indicator for increased risk of poverty and poor health, though it "may seem unfair and insensitive," it says. The U.S., which ranked 17th in the percentage of children who live in relative poverty, was also close to last when it comes to children eating and talking frequently with their families.

Britain had the highest rate of children involved in activities that endangered their welfare: 31% of those studied said they had been drunk at least twice by the age of 15 (compared with 11.6% for the United States), and 38% had had sexual intercourse by that age (statistics unavailable for the U.S.). Canada had the highest rate of children who had smoked marijuana by age 15 — 40.4% (compared with 31.4% in the U.S.). Japan ranked the worst on "subjective well-being," with 30% of children agreeing with the statement "I am lonely" — three times higher than the next-highest-scoring country.

Read more at:,0,5374235.story?coll=la-home-headlines

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