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An Index of Child Well-Being in Europe

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Publication details

JournalChild Indicators Research
DatePublished - Sep 2009
Issue number3
Number of pages33
Pages (from-to)319-351
Original languageEnglish


This is a comparison of child well-being in the 27 countries of the European Union and Norway and Iceland. It is based on 43 indicators forming 19 components derived from administrative and survey data around 2006. It covers seven domains: health, subjective well-being, personal relationships, material resources, education, behaviour and risks, housing and the environment. Comparisons are made of countries performance on each of the domains and components. Overall child well-being is highest in the Netherlands which is also the only country to perform in the top third of countries across all domains. Child well-being is worst in the former Eastern bloc countries with the exception of Slovenia. Lithuania performs in the bottom third on all domains. The United Kingdom does notably badly given its level of national wealth. The index is subjected to sensitivity analysis and analysis is undertaken to explain variations in child well-being. We find that there are positive associations between child well-being and spending on family benefits and services and GDP per capita, a negative association with inequality and no association with the prevalence of 'broken' families.

    Research areas

  • Child well-being, Europe, European Union, STATES

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