- New research shows many rich nations still have room for improvement when it comes to ensuring policies and social contexts lead to children's well-being – and COVID-19 has exaggerated many divides.
- Children in Nordic countries generally have the highest rates of well-being, but Mexico and Romania have among the highest levels of life satisfaction.
- Many more children with low levels of life satisfaction feel they lack a support network. Body image also has a role to play.
- There are signs that some countries are regressing – particularly following the pandemic – and will struggle to meet their commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Living in a wealthy nation is no guarantee of happiness. Even before the COVID-19 crisis created greater divides, the daily lives of millions of children in the richest countries fell far short of a good childhood.
No matter the wealth of these countries, better health or education is not universal. Many children suffer from stress, anxiety and depression, lag behind their peers at school, and are physically unwell. And, according to new research from the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, even the best-performing countries have room for significant improvement when it comes to ensuring consistently high child well-being.