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The happiest children in Europe live in Netherlands

By Chris V. Thangham     Apr 21, 2009 in World
According to a British study, the happiest children in Europe live in the Netherlands and in Scandinavian countries. Britain is ranked 24th among 29 countries.
The research was compiled by York University at northern England for the Child Poverty Action (CPAG) and used data from 2006.
The researchers focused on youngsters aged up to 19. They compared the 29 European countries and used 43 different criteria such as infant mortality, obesity, poverty and housing.
The study showed the happiest children lived in Netherlands, which scored high in all categories.
The Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland) came next. The researchers noted the children in these countries are less prone to risky behaviors such as early sexual intercourse, smoking and drinking, compared to their counterparts. They also had low level of children deaths caused by accidents.
Norway heads the list with the best housing and quality of neighborhoods, which is vital for raising children.
Germany finished eight, France finished 15th and Britain was ranked higher, only above countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta.
CPAG reported despite Britain being one of the leading economies in the world, they ranked lower because a high number of children were living in families where neither parent work.
CPAG chief executive Kate Green wants the government to include more measures for child well-being in the budget. She told AFP:
We cannot afford a 'do nothing' Budget for children. The report shows a clear link between high levels of child wellbeing and low levels of child poverty.
"If we fail to protect families during the downturn, progress on child wellbeing could go into reverse.
The full list of ranking is as follows:
1. Netherlands
2. Sweden
3. Norway
4. Iceland
5. Finland
6. Denmark
7. Slovenia
8. Germany
9. Ireland
10. Luxembourg
11. Austria
12. Cyprus
13. Spain
14. Belgium
15. France
16. Czech Republic
17. Slovakia
18. Estonia
19. Italy
20. Poland
21. Portugal
22. Hungary
23. Greece
24. United Kingdom
25. Romania
26. Bulgaria
27. Latvia
28. Lithuania
29. Malta
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