Almost a quarter of children and young people fret about the economy and finances, a new study showed.
Another sixth said the worst thing about living in Ireland is the weather, while 14% complained about the education system.
Elsewhere one in 10 quizzed for ' Life as a Child and Young Person in Ireland' said anti-social behaviour and crime was a problem in the country.
The figures were revealed following a national consultation completed by 66,705 primary and secondary school pupils in April 2011.
Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald said the study was was the biggest of its kind ever conducted in Ireland.
"The findings of this consultation provide an interesting insight into contemporary Irish childhood and youth," she said. "The scale of this consultation demonstrates the commitment of this Government, of my department and I, to listen to the views of children and young people. I encourage children and young people to play an active role in civic society and this report is an example of such engagement."
The report found youngsters felt that the the best things in Ireland were: education (21%), sport (16%), friends (14%) and Irish identity (11%). They said the worst things were: the Irish economy and finances (23%), weather (16%), education (14%) and anti-social behaviour and crime (10%).
If they could, young people and children would change education (23%), followed by the economy and finances (17%), social problems (9%), and places to go (7%).
Ms Fitzgerald said youngsters expressed satisfaction with the Irish education system, however many also indicated they would like to change some aspect of it.
"In particular, young people highlighting concerns such as the need for a greater emphasis on science facilities and better use of technology in schools," she said.