Despite the relative wealth of Australia, a recent report card from UNICEF that compares the performance of OECD countries shows that our nation is not doing as well as other developed nations in taking care of its vulnerable children.
The report, ‘The Children Left Behind’, rated Australia’s performance below average in more than half of the 35 health, education and prosperity measures it uses to compare countries. Australia scored below average on such indicators as income equality, teen suicide, immunisation rates and spending on childcare services.
Alarmingly, Australia is almost the worst performer of OECD countries when it comes to the proportion of children living in jobless households, while Britain is the worst. Based on all measures, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Switzerland were the best at promoting equality for their children, while Greece, Italy and the United States were doing the worst.
The report wasn’t all bad news, however, with Australia rating above average on such measures as primary school enrolments, reading, mathematics, and science literacy, and on home environment conditions.
The full report can be read here
, while a media article on the issue is available here