Unicef: The Netherlands is the best place to raise a child

Unicef: The Netherlands is the best place to raise a child

A new report by Unicef has found that children in the Netherlands are the most satisfied with their lives, with the country scoring highest worldwide for child welfare. 

Children in the Netherlands are happy

The Unicef study looked at the well-being of children and young people up to the age of 18 in the 41 most prosperous countries in the world. Their study found that the Netherlands was the best country to raise a family, as children here are satisfied and have a good quality of life.

In most of the countries, just under 80 percent of children are satisfied with their lives, but in the Netherlands, this figure is 90 percent. Mexico and Romania came in second and third place respectively, with Turkey coming in last with “only” 53 percent. 

The Netherlands also received top scores for access to good education and children’s social skills. In these categories, Denmark and Norway came just behind the Netherlands, coming in at second and third place respectively. The United States. Bulgaria, and Chile received the lowest scores. 

The Netherlands’ shortcomings

Despite the success of the Netherlands in many respects, there were some categories in which the country performed less well. Weight and obesity were significant issues, with a quarter of children in the Netherlands being overweight. However, this figure still comes in under the global average, with one-third of children between the ages of five and 19 being either overweight or obese. 

These figures may not come as much of a surprise to many, as only days ago Unicef published a different report highlighting how unhealthy products targeted at children are in the Netherlands. The investigation found 70 percent of food and drink products did not meet the necessary health requirements.  

Schools in the Netherlands also seem to place quite a lot of pressure on children, according to the results of the investigation. Suzanne Laszlo, director of Unicef Netherlands, said: “We know from recent research that Dutch young people experience the most stress due to school pressure. As that pressure increases, young people experience more emotional problems and less life satisfaction.”

Laszlo also recognised the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the education and mental health of children, not only in the Netherlands, but also around the world, and asked governments to keep children in mind when making decisions about coronavirus measures.

Unicef report: Child well-being in rich countries

On the whole, countries in Northern Europe performed particularly well. On the other end of the spectrum, Greece, the United States, Lithuania, Latvia, and Romania came at the bottom of Unicef’s league table.

See Unicef’s rankings for the top 15 developed countries according to the overall well-being of their children:

  1. The Netherlands
  2. Norway
  3. Iceland
  4. Finland
  5. Sweden
  6. Germany
  7. Luxembourg
  8. Switzerland
  9. Belgium
  10. Ireland
  11. Denmark
  12. Slovenia
  13. France
  14. Czech Republic
  15. Portugal

Click here to see the full table and read Unicef’s report.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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