The Lowlands scored highest in a new UNICEF report, "Child poverty in perspective: an overview of child well-being in rich countries." At the bottom was the United Kingdom, followed closely by the United States.
The report measured children's lives on 6 "dimensions." On 3, the United States placed last or 2d to last: "health and safety," "family and peer relationships," and "behaviours and risks." It was 17th out of 21 for "material well-being." Its top placement was 12th, for "educational well-being."
Why the poor showing for the United States and its special relation, Britain? A U.N. researcher reasoned, "They don't invest as much in children as continental European countries do"; but an official of the United States, said to be the only nonmember (save Somalia) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, pointed to statistical quirks in how poverty is measured.
The rankings, from top to bottom: Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Canada, Greece, Poland, Czech Republic, France, Portugal, Austria, Hungary, United States, United Kingdom.