Reason number 4,823 to move to Scandinavia: Norway is the best country on Earth for children.
That’s according to Save the Children, which issued its first ever End of Childhood Index, measuring worldwide youth health and well-being. Slovenia rated second, followed by Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Out of 172 countries, the States came in at relatively embarrassing 36, well behind most of Europe. Perhaps Melania Trump should skip the move to D.C. and move Barron to Slovenia.
The bottom countries on the list, Mali, Angola and Niger, along with a few other Central African countries, are where childhood is most highly threatened.
The report identifies eight factors that effectively ruin childhood across the globe: poor diet, lack of schooling, infant death, child marriage, child labor, teen pregnancy and regional conflict. Based on reports from global organizations, the countries are judged on each factor, then the average determines the global ranking.
A complementary report ranks the states as well. New York doesn’t crack the top 10, losing to states like New Hampshire at the top, New Jersey coming in third, and Connecticut coming in at number six (of course).
Richard Bland, National Director of Policy, Advocacy, and Development explained to the News that New York struggles with child nutrition and security, as well as high school dropout rates. What does he think would help us get to the top 10? After-school programs.
“Studies show after school programs motivate students to graduate and ensure kids have a safe place to go after school — lowering childhood violence,” he said.
Bland hopes the U.S. ranking at 36 will inspire policymakers to look at countries higher up on the list to figure out what they’re doing differently — how are we not beating financially unstable Greece?
“One in four children worldwide are missing out on the childhoods they deserve. It should alarm everyone, it should spark our consciousness.”