Dutch children are most satisfied with their lives

Children and young people grow up best in the Netherlands. Unicef draws this conclusion in a study into the well-being of children up to the age of 18 in the 41 most prosperous countries. The Netherlands comes first, followed by Denmark and Norway.

The UN Children’s Rights Organisation examined the mental and physical health of children and also looked at their social and academic skills. In most countries just under 80 percent are satisfied with their lives. Children in the Netherlands are the most satisfied. Mexico and Romania come second and third. In Turkey, children are the least satisfied with 53 percent.

Overweight and obesity are big problems, Unicef warns. A quarter of Dutch children are too fat. Worldwide, one in three children between the ages of 5 and 19 are overweight or obese.

School pressure

According to the children’s rights organisation, performance pressure is also lurking in schools in the Netherlands. “We know from recent research that Dutch young people experience the most stress due to school pressure,” says Suzanne Laszlo, director of Unicef Netherlands. “As that pressure increases, young people experience more emotional problems and less life satisfaction

The corona crisis is coming on top of that. “Children and adolescents suffer mentally from the coronavirus pandemic,” says Laszlo. Unicef therefore calls on governments worldwide not to lose sight of children when making decisions about coronavirus measures.