The U.K. and the U.S. are the worst places for children’s quality of life and the Netherlands and Sweden are the best, according to a report on 21 industrialized countries by the United Nations Children’s Fund.
The UNICEF report, released today, uses 40 indicators to gauge children’s well-being. The study found no solid relationship between the wealth of a country and children’s welfare.
The U.K. ranks poorly in factors such as quality of relationships, behavior, health and safety, according to the report. The country has the worst levels of youth drunkenness and teenage sexual relations.
“For the last two decades, we have failed to invest in children,” said Jonathan Bradshaw, a University of York professor who helped to compile the U.K. numbers data. He was speaking at a London press conference. “It’s a pretty bleak picture.”