UNICEF

A league table of child well-being outcomes: mental well-being

1   Netherlands
2   Cyprus
3   Spain
4   Romania
5   Denmark
6   Portugal
7   France
8   Greece
9   Italy
10  Croatia
11  Norway
12  Finland
13  Switzerland
14  Slovakia
15  Hungary
16  Germany
17  Belgium
18  Bulgaria
19  Luxembourg
20  Iceland
21  Austria
22  Sweden
23  Slovenia
24  Czech Republic
25  Latvia
26  Ireland
27  Chile
28  Malta
29  United Kingdom
30  Poland
31  Canada
32  United States
33  Estonia
34  Republic of Korea
35  Australia
36  Lithuania
37  Japan
38  New Zealand

3 thoughts on “UNICEF

  1. shinichi Post author

    2020年の UNICEFの調査で日本の若者・子どもの「精神的幸福度」は38カ国中37位だった。

    UNICEF Report Cards measure child and youth well-being in wealthy countries. Report Card 16 shows that just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan was already worlds apart from other rich countries in providing healthy, happy childhoods for every child. Japan has some of the best economic, environmental and social conditions for growing up, but the poorest outcomes for children and youth.

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  2. shinichi Post author

    Mental well-being

    Mental well-being means not only the absence of mental ill-health but also a broader sense of positive functioning.6 We represent both of these aspects in the first league table.

    Positive functioning encompasses various components including emotions such as feeling happy, satisfaction with life and a sense of flourishing. The league table includes a question about life satisfaction from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study, based on the criteria for indicator selection (see Spotlight 1). Children aged 15 years were each asked to say how satisfied they felt with their life as a whole using a scale from 0 (worst possible life) to 10 (best possible life). In all countries, most children were reasonably satisfied with their lives (a score above the midpoint on the scale), but there was variation between countries in this regard – ranging from less than 55 per cent of children in Turkey to 90 per cent of children in the Netherlands.

    The fact that most children are reasonably satisfied with their lives is encouraging. We still need to consider what these percentages mean in terms of the large numbers of children who have low life satisfaction. This is more than merely a question of momentary ‘happiness’. For example, a study in the United Kingdom showed that, compared with children with average to high life satisfaction, those with low life satisfaction were about eight times as likely to report family conflict, six times as likely to feel that they could not express their opinions, five times as likely to be bullied, and more than twice as likely not to look forward to going to school.7 Only 64 per cent of children with low self-reported well-being felt they had people who supported them, compared with 93 per cent of other children. And 24 per cent of children with low well-being said that they did not feel safe at home, compared with only about 1 per cent of other children.

    There is a lack of reliable, comparable data on mental ill-health among children globally. As in previous Report Cards, we used the suicide rate among adolescents aged 15–19 years as the best available indicator. Unfortunately, data were only generally available up to 2015. Suicide rates in this age group were above 10 per 100,000 in Lithuania, New Zealand and Estonia, and lowest in Greece, Portugal and Israel.

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