Save the Children, an international non-governmental organization that promotes children’s rights, released its first ever End of Childhood Index, which ranked the health and well-being of kids around the world. The rankings are based on eight factors that ruin childhood around the world: poor diet, lack of schooling, infant death, child marriage, child labor, teen pregnancy and regional conflict. And America didn’t do well.
Out of 172 countries, the U.S. was ranked 36th, well behind most of the countries Europe, including Norway, who landed the top spot on the list. America fell just behind Singapore, Qatar, and Bosnia & Herzegovina, while narrowly beating out the Russian Federation and Kuwait.
Obviously, America landing so low on the list is a shock, but a complementary report and ranking of the 50 states reveals that one region, in particular, might be responsible for America’s disappointing placement: the South. Six of the bottom 10 states were located in the South, while three of the remaining four states are in the Southwest.
Southen states uniformly are among the worst for education, childhood obesity, infant mortality, and teen pregnancies, so it is not exactly a surprise to see Louisiana, Alabama, and others rank low on the complementary report. Virginia, however, is an exception to the Southern state rule: it falls among the top 10 states on the list, ranking average when it came to malnutrition, infant mortality, and childhood violence.
At the top of the rankings were smaller, mostly Northeastern states, such as New Hampshire, Vermont, and Connecticut. States with larger cities, like New York and California, tended to not rank as high as states without large cities, presumably for reasons related to food security. Either way, America has a long way to go if it hopes to earn a spot in the top 10 anytime soon.