Hungary ranks 15th among European Union and OECD countries in terms of child welfare, according to a UNICEF report. The United Nations Children’s Fund reviewed national and international surveys on the welfare of children in 41 EU and OECD member states to highlight the factors influencing children’s welfare in affluent countries. The Worlds of Influence report looking into children’s mental and physical health, academic and social skills and happiness found that children are the happiest in the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway, while Chile, Bulgaria and the United States are at the bottom of the list. Hungary ranked 13th regarding children’s life skills, 15th in mental health and 21st in physical health.
The report surveyed children’s subjective happiness. In the Netherlands, 90% of fifteen-year-olds said they were satisfied with their lives, while only 53% of Turkish children said the same. Hungary ranked 16th, with 77% of respondents saying they were satisfied. Regarding suicide rates, the report found that on average 10 out of every 100,000 children between the ages of 15 and 19 commit suicide in rich countries. Those rates were lowest in Greece (1.4), Portugal (2.1) and Israel (2.2), and highest in Lithuania (18.2). Hungary (4.5) ranked 14th. The number of overweight and obese children has grown in rich countries in recent years, with every third child now falling into that category, the report said. Hungary is 23rd on the UNICEF’s list of countries, with 28% of children overweight or obese.
Hungary ranked 27th regarding children’s skills in reading and maths, with Estonia, Ireland and Finland leading the list, and Bulgaria, Romania and Chile lagging behind. Hungary took 26th place on the list ranking the countries on their economic, social and environmental factors, as well as child policies, the report said.