Greece ranks 30th among the countries of the world. The data are presented in a report on child protection.
In particular, the Save the Children report addresses a number of factors. The assessment of the well-being of children and young people under the age of 20 years in this study was based on indicators characterizing the situation in five areas of life activity:
health and safety
behavior and risks
living conditions and the environment.
The composite index of well-being was calculated as an average of five positions. The review includes 29 industrialized countries.
As it turned out, Singapore is the best country for the formation / development of a child, followed by four countries located in northern Europe, such as: Scandinavia, Sweden, Finland and Norway. Cyprus is ranked 13th in the list.
It is noted that Turkey occupies the 66th place in the ranking, and on the latter is the Central African Republic.
According to the study, despite roughly equal opportunities, some rich countries managed to achieve better results than others on the way to eliminating child poverty and creating favorable conditions for the development of children.
The undisputed leader of the ranking is the Netherlands – it is the only country among the top five ranked countries in all five areas. And the Netherlands are leading not only by objective indicators, but also by the estimates of the children themselves.
Also very good conditions for the development of children are created in four northern countries: Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden; these countries are close to the Netherlands in the ranking.
The four lowest positions of the ranked series, with the worst indicators of children’s well-being, are occupied by the three poorest countries from the list – Latvia, Lithuania and Romania, as well as one of the richest countries – the USA.
The experts concluded that there is no close connection between the level of GDP per capita and the general welfare of children. In a very rich country, the situation of children is not always better than in a country where the economic situation is less favorable. Thus, according to the published rating, children in Slovenia live better than their peers in Canada. And the situation of children in the Czech Republic is more stable than in Austria. Portugal is overtaking the United States in terms of achievements in the field of child protection and development.
The gap between the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Western countries in ensuring the well-being of the younger generation is gradually narrowing.
Material well-being was estimated on the basis of the following indicators:
Relative level of child poverty (% of children living in households with incomes below 50% of the median income in the country)
The gap between the poverty line in the country and the median income of households below the poverty line (%)
Child deprivation index (% of children who do not have two or more items from the proposed list, for example, three meals a day, daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, books for reading, a bicycle, new clothes, adequate space for homework, the Internet, etc. )
The level of wealth in the family (% of children who reported on the presence / absence in the family of a car, computer, separate room for a child, traveling with the family in the last 12 months).
According to all indicators of the material situation of children, four countries of Northern Europe and the Netherlands are in the lead, and the situation is worst in Lithuania, Latvia, Romania and the USA.
Finland is the only country where the relative level of child poverty is below 5% (Fig. 1). In the countries of Southern Europe, as well as in the USA, Lithuania, Latvia and Romania, this figure exceeds 15%.
The highest values of the child deprivation index (over 25%) were obtained in countries such as Hungary, Latvia, Portugal, and Romania. The level of wealth in the family in the lower part of the ranking were the countries of Eastern and Central Europe.
Health and safety were considered in terms of indicators such as:
Percentage of low birth weight infants (less than 2500 g)
Children’s immunization rate
Child mortality from 1 to 19 years.
The best conditions for the health of children are created in Iceland, Sweden and Finland. Such rich countries as the USA, Canada, Austria and Denmark are in the worst situation, in particular, due to the low coverage of children with immunization.
The infant mortality rate is low in all developed countries. In 26 of 35 developed countries, the infant mortality rate does not exceed 5 per 1000 live births; above this mark it is only in the USA, Slovakia, Latvia and Romania.
Another important indicator of this block is the percentage of low birth weight infants (less than 2500 g) among all births; birth weight is a factor in child survival and health. Five European countries managed to reduce this figure to less than 5% (Estonia, Iceland, Finland, Ireland, Sweden). In Hungary, Portugal and the United States, the proportion of low-birth-born is 8%, in Greece – almost 10%.
There are no big differences in the level of immunization of children among developed countries. Only in three countries – Austria, Canada and Denmark – the proportion of children who received major vaccinations, does not reach 90%.
Behavior and risks. In this block, the rating was compiled based on the following indicators:
Having a child overweight
Daily fruit consumption
Adolescent birth rate
Participation in fights.
The last four indicators are for adolescents 11, 13 and 15 years.
In all the countries under consideration, the proportion of adolescents who are overweight is more than 10 percent, with the exception of the Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark. But only in Canada, Greece and the United States, this proportion exceeds 20 percent.
The birth of a child at a young age threatens the well-being of both the mother and the child; the young mother has high risks not to finish school, not to find a good job, to be below the poverty line. In most developed countries, the birth rate in the age group of 15-19 years is low. The lowest birth rate among adolescents are the Netherlands, Slovenia and Switzerland (less than 5 per 1000). At the same time, in three countries – Romania, the United Kingdom and the United States – the adolescent birth rate is more than 29 per 1000 persons of a corresponding age.
The authors of the report note with satisfaction that in developed countries, 92% of adolescents 11–15 years old do not smoke cigarettes regularly, 86% do not use cannabis, 85% do not get drunk until they are drunk (more than once), 2/3 do not participate in fights.
However, experts draw attention to the low level of physical activity of children from rich countries.
Education. The well-being of children in the field of education was evaluated on the basis of indicators such as:
Coverage of children with preschool education (from 4 years before school starts)
Enrollment of adolescents aged 15-19
Percentage of adolescents aged 15-19 who do not study and do not work
The quality of training (the results of testing in three subjects).
From the point of view of conditions for the education of children and young people, the most favorable situation is in Belgium, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands, the least favorable – in Greece, Romania, Spain and the USA.
The coverage of pre-school education ranges from 73% in Finland to 100% in France. Coverage from 15 to 19 years of age ranges from 74% in the UK to 93% in Belgium.