DISCOVER

The Child Olympics

Where does the US rank in INFANT MORTALITY?

  • 0
  • 3
  • 6
  • 9
  • 12
  1. Iceland
  2. Sweden
  3. Slovenia
  4. Finland
  5. Luxembourg
  6. Norway
  7. Portugal
  8. Estonia
  9. Denmark
  10. Italy
  11. Ireland
  12. Germany
  13. Czech Rep
  14. Netherlands
  15. France
  16. Austria
  17. Belgium
  18. Spain
  19. Greece
  20. Switzerland
  21. UK
  22. Canada
  23. Lithuania
  24. Poland
  25. Hungary
  26. Slovakia
  27. Latvia
  28. Romania

Drag and Drop

the US where you think it ranks

Afraid Not.

The US ranks

26TH

in infant mortality.

Not that bad.

The US ranks

26TH

in infant mortality.

That's right.

The US ranks

26TH

in infant mortality.

  • 0
  • 3
  • 6
  • 9
  • 12

Infant mortality per 1,000 births

Where does the US rank in CHILD POVERTY?

  • 0%
  • 6%
  • 12%
  • 18%
  • 24%
  1. Finland
  2. Netherlands
  3. Denmark
  4. Iceland
  5. Cyprus
  6. Norway
  7. Slovenia
  8. Sweden
  9. Austria
  10. Ireland
  11. Germany
  12. Switzerland
  13. France
  14. Malta
  15. Czech Rep
  16. Hungary
  17. UK
  18. Belgium
  19. Australia
  20. New Zealand
  21. Luxembourg
  22. Estonia
  23. Slovakia
  24. Poland
  25. Canada
  26. Japan
  27. Portugal
  28. Greece
  29. Italy
  30. Lithuania
  31. Spain
  32. Latvia
  33. Bulgaria
  34. Romania

Drag and Drop

the US where you think it ranks

Afraid Not.

The US ranks

34TH

in child poverty.

Not that bad.

The US ranks

34TH

in infant mortality.

That's right.

The US ranks

34TH

in infant mortality.

  • 0%
  • 6%
  • 12%
  • 18%
  • 24%

% of children growing up in poverty

Where does the US rank in PRESCHOOL ATTENDANCE?

  • 0%
  • 25%
  • 50%
  • 75%
  • 100%
  1. France
  2. Netherlands
  3. Spain
  4. Belgium
  5. Denmark
  6. Italy
  7. Norway
  8. UK
  9. Germany
  10. Iceland
  11. Sweden
  12. Luxembourg
  13. Hungary
  14. Austria
  15. Slovenia
  16. Estonia
  17. Portugal
  18. Czech Rep
  19. Latvia
  20. Ireland
  21. Romania
  22. Switzerland
  23. Lithuania
  24. Slovakia
  25. Poland
  26. Greece
  27. Finland*

Drag and Drop

the US where you think it ranks

Afraid not.

The US ranks

26TH

in preschool attendance.

Not that bad.

The US ranks

26TH

in preschool attendance.

That's right.

The US ranks

26TH

in preschool attendance.

  • 0%
  • 25%
  • 50%
  • 75%
  • 100%

% of children enrolled in preschool

Where does the US rank in HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION?

  • 52%
  • 64%
  • 76%
  • 88%
  • 100%
  1. Slovenia
  2. Germany
  3. Iceland
  4. Hungary
  5. Netherlands
  6. Finland
  7. Ireland
  8. Japan
  9. Spain
  10. UK
  11. Denmark
  12. South Korea
  13. Latvia
  14. Canada
  15. Poland
  16. Israel
  17. Slovakia
  18. Norway
  19. Portugal
  20. Chile
  21. Italy
  22. Czech Rep
  23. Sweden
  24. China
  25. Greece
  26. Luxembourg
  27. Austria
  28. Turkey

Drag and Drop

the US where you think it ranks

Afraid not.

The US ranks

23RD

in high school graduation.

Not that bad.

The US ranks

23RD

in high school graduation.

That's right.

The US ranks

23RD

in high school graduation.

  • 52%
  • 64%
  • 76%
  • 88%
  • 100%

% of students graduating high school

Sources: Education at a Glance 2014, OECD & Child Wellbeing in Advanced Economies in the Late 2000s (2013), UNICEF

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It is often said a nation can be measured by how well it attends to its children—their health and safety, their material security, their education and socialization, and their sense of being loved, valued and included in their families and communities. The U.S. may still win the most gold medals in the Olympics every four years, but we are losing the child Olympics every day.

By almost any measure, children born in the U.S. fare worse on average than those born in other rich countries, and many middle income countries as well. The interactive above discloses our shameful rankings in infant mortality, child poverty, preschool attendance and high school graduation rates. The results would be similar if we chose children’s mental health disorders, obesity, substance abuse, violence, teenage pregnancy, literacy and math proficiency and, woefully, deaths by child abuse and maltreatment.

Add it all up and the U.S. ranks 26th of 29 countries in the United Nation’s 2013 index of overall child well-being, presented at the beginning of The Raising of America documentary series. Children in Greece, Slovakia and Poland fare better. (See Table 15 on Page 39)

“The tragedy,” as an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report put it with respect to physical health, “is not that the U.S. is losing a contest with other countries, but that Americans are dying and suffering from illness and injury at rates that are demonstrably unnecessary.”

How can this be? How can a nation as wealthy and as strong as the U.S. put so many more of its children at risk than do other wealthy nations, even as we cheer our young people’s athletic triumphs in the Olympics?

TAKE-AWAY

Why does the wealthiest nation in the world have some of the worst child outcomes of any advanced economy?

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