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Home > Worlds of influence: understanding what shapes child well-being in rich countries. Innocenti report card 16.

UNICEF Innocenti. (2020) Worlds of influence: understanding what shapes child well-being in rich countries. Innocenti report card 16. Florence: UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti.

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UNICEF’s Report Card Series – now running for 20 years – uses comparable national data to rank EU and OECD countries on childhood. Worlds of Influence: Understanding what shapes child well-being in rich countries uses pre-COVID-19 data and features a league table according to children’s mental and physical health and academic and social skillset. Based on these indicators the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway rank as the top three places to be a child among wealthy countries. Ireland ranks 12th among 38 OECD/EU countries for child well-being.

 

Key findings for Ireland

 

Ireland scores best on academic and social skills (6th), but fares worse on physical health (17th) and mental well-being (26th). More than six in 100,000 Irish adolescents aged 15-19 die by suicide.

On life satisfaction, children in Ireland rated themselves as having one of the lowest rates in the OECD/EU (72%), with 28% marking a score of 5 or under on a scale of 10. Among the issues contributing to these low scores, body image, pressure to succeed in school, bullying and their sense of meaning or purpose in life.

 

Irish children were well below the OECD average in their sense of meaning or purpose in life. Sense of purpose has previously been measured in the PISA study, with only 60% of 15-years-olds in Ireland agreeing that ‘My life has a clear meaning or purpose’.

 

Meanwhile, children who worry about the environment tend to have lower life satisfaction.

 

Over a quarter (27%) of Irish 11-15-year-olds said they were too fat and 14% said they were too thin. Girls in Ireland are amongst the most likely in the region to link life satisfaction with body image, along with peers in Scotland (United Kingdom), Finland and the Netherlands.

 

Throughout the region, life satisfaction, varies from 53% in Turkey to 90% in the Netherlands.

Item Type
Report
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Date
September 2020
Pages
68 p.
Publisher
UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti
Corporate Creators
UNICEF Innocenti
Place of Publication
Florence
EndNote
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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