Dutch children the most satisfied with life

Children in the Netherlands have the best quality of life of all the 21 OECD countries, according to a Unicef report out on Wednesday. The survey asked young people such things as how often they ate the main meal of the day with their family and if they considered their peers to be ‘kind and helpful’.

It also looked how likely children were to do sport, drink alcohol and take drugs. Despite the Netherlands’s liberal reputation, the birth rate for Dutch teenagers is the lowest in Europe and they are no more less likely to take drugs or get drunk than many of their foreign counterparts.
Dutch children and teenagers also gave themselves the highest rating of all 21 countries in terms of how satisfied they were with life.
The report said there was no strong relationship between a country’s wealth and child well-being. The Czech Republic, for example, ranks higher than much wealthier European nations, including France. Trailing at the bottom of the list is the UK, with the US just one place above.
Gerrit Breeusma, Professor of Development Psychology at the University of Groningen told the Independent newspaper that the child-friendly attitudes of the Dutch stretched back centuries. ‘Children have always played a very important role and even more so now because family relationships are more liberal and communicative than ever before here,’ he said.

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