How Bad Child Inequality is in the Rich World?

Society | April 17, 2016
Excel Sheet

UNICEF has carried out a comprehensive study of inequality among children living in rich countries. The report – which covers everything from educational opportunities to family income – reveals that some of the world’s wealthiest countries are failing their children, according to Stéphanie Thomson from the World Economic Forum.

UNICEF ranked the wealthy countries based on an inequality in four areas:

• Income - relative income gap for households with children is higher than 50% in almost half of the world’s richest countries 

• Education - educational achievement gap - using the OECD’s PISA tests, which measures performance in reading, mathematics and science.

• Health - the gap in children’s self-reported health symptoms

• Life Satisfaction - the extent of how child inequality in rich countries compares with the relative life satisfaction gap.

When all four measures are added together, the final results might come as a surprise. While a country as wealthy as the US should be scoring higher than 18th, it is also regularly lambasted for its performance when it comes to inequality. And yet some countries that are thought of as having more progressive approaches when it comes to income redistribution rank even lower.

For example, Canada, France and Italy – all G7 economies – rank in the bottom third of the overall table, as does Luxembourg, the EU country with the highest income per person.