Monday 5 December 2016

Revealed: Best countries to raise a family but where does Ireland place?

Published 15/04/2016 | 10:27

A Unicef survey which delved into inequality, in which Ireland was listed seventh
A Unicef survey which delved into inequality, in which Ireland was listed seventh

Denmark is the best country to raise children according to data published by International children’s rights organisation Unicef.

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The Scandinavian country is closely followed by Finland, Norway and Switzerland while Ireland places seventh on a list which measured levels of child inequality between rich and poor families internationally.

The organisation’s Fairness for Children report delved into inequalities in income, education, health and life satisfaction between children in different countries around the world.

While Ireland ranked seventh on the list, our UK neighbours fell in joint fourteenth place with Germany, Greece and Hungary.

In a list which ranked inequality in education, Ireland was listed in ninth place out of 37 countries, for proficiency in maths, reading and science.

However, despite ranking high in education, Ireland lags behind the UK in twentieth place when it comes to the gap between rich and poor families when it comes to healthcare.

A Unicef survey which delved into inequality, in which Ireland was listed seventh
A Unicef survey which delved into inequality, in which Ireland was listed seventh

The smallest gaps between rich and poor children receiving similar standards of care presented in Austria, Germany and Switzerland which ranked highest on the list.

Ireland ranked thirteenth on a list measuring life satisfaction, where children were asked to rank the quality of their lives on a scale of one to ten while the country currently has the fourth worst income inequality in the EU, with an income gap of over 76pc.

Despite the postives of the research, it was revealed that almost a third of all Irish children live in deprived households.

Peter Power, Executive Director of UNICEF Ireland, said: "100 years ago this month, the Proclamation proclaimed to cherish all Irish children equally."

"This report demonstrates that as a demographic group Irish children are falling behind other sections of society."

Writing in the Irish Independent, Mr Power added: "The message is stark: as inequality increases, wealthy nations of the world are failing their most vulnerable children," he said.

"Those with the least ability to narrow the gaps are being allowed to fall furthest behind."

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