UK kids ‘unhappiest’ in developed world

I was watching Newsnight last night, they had a special report on the findings of UNICEF which accused the UK of failing its children.(You don’t need a report to guess a visit to your schools, prisons and backstreets). According to the report, “British children are the poorest, the fattest, the drunkest, the most promiscuous, the most afraid and most miserable.”  😦

I managed to watch most of it and the panel discussion at the end was interesting, I agreed with much of what was said by some of those on the panelists.

An article by the reporter in the show:

Britain’s children are unhappier and feel less loved than those in almost any of the world’s wealthiest nations, according to a Unicef report.

Unicef considered six factors crucial to children’s lives: material well-being; health and safety; education; family and peer relationships; behaviour and risks; and subjective well-being.

Overall the Netherlands fares best, ranking in the top ten for all six critera. Britain and America come in the bottom third in five of the six categories, ranking well behind the likes of Greece, Poland and the Czech Republic.

The report, revealed exclusively on Newsnight, draws on data from existing studies by the World Health Organisation and the OECD.

Grim Reading

According to Unicef, the problems of being born in the UK start at the beginning: the proportion of those with low birth weight is greater in the UK than in 20 other OECD nations, way behind the likes Poland, Portugal and the Czech Republic.  The report makes grim reading, suggesting that growing up in Britain may leave children disadvantaged not because the country is materially poor but because of “relative income poverty” – the large disparity in wealth between the nation’s poorest and the rest.

Only in the United States is the gap wider. Scandinavia has the lowest rate of relative income poverty.

According to Manu Vatish, consultant obstetrician at University Hospital, Coventry, this is an obvious sign of deprivation.

“It continues throughout their childhood. It will lead them into adolescence, it will alter their job prospects and then they’ll continue in a cycle of deprivation into the next generation,” he says.

Drink and drugs

But the American dream lives on: children in the US are the most ambitious, whereas in the UK, one third expect to find no better than unskilled work.

When it comes to sex, drugs and drink, Britain’s teenagers are the worst abusers. Fewer than a tenth of French 11 to 15 year olds, compared to a third of the UK’s, say they’ve been drunk at least twice.

As for drugs, only Swiss and Canadian teenagers have used cannabis more frequently than the British.

Nearly 40% of British 15 year olds say they have had sex – far more than the next most sexually precocious, the Germans and the Swedes where the figure is below 30%.


Britain has the second highest incidence of young people living in single parent families. Almost 17%compared to just 7% in Italy and 9% in Belgium.

And Britain comes bottom in family and peer relationships and in how young people feel about themselves. In Switzerland over 80% of youngsters find their peers kind and helpful.

From Portugal to Germany and Scandinavia well over 70% do likewise. But in Britain the figure is a dismal 43%.

 Peter Marshall –BBC Newsnight

What picture does this paint for the future of our society? What kind of a world will my kids (Inshallah, Ameen) grow up in? :S

God bless and protect our children.



~ by usma on 14, February, 2007.

One Response to “UK kids ‘unhappiest’ in developed world”

  1. Bloody British are so selfish!with their capitalism, materialism, creating peer pressure!!it is so fustrating to see how the west has become so individualistic and the sense of ‘wishing for others what you would wish for yourself’ has lost all meaning’.the wosrt thing is the psychological damage these kids have to suffer and may effect them during their adulthood. which in all is not good the society. its such a horrible link and cycle.its disturbing.

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