U.S. fares poorly in UNICEF children survey

UNITED NATIONS — The United States and Britain ranked as the worst places to be a child, according to a UNICEF study of more than 20 developed nations released Wednesday. The Netherlands was the best, it says, followed by Sweden and Denmark.

UNICEF's Innocenti Research Center in Italy ranked the countries in six categories: material well-being, health, education, relationships, behaviors and risks, and young people's own sense of happiness.

The finding that children in the richest countries are not necessarily the best-off surprised many, said the director of the study, Marta Santos Pais. The Czech Republic, for example, ranked above countries with a higher per capita income, such as Austria, France, the United States and Britain, in part because of a more equitable distribution of wealth and higher relative investment in education and public health.

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