According to a UNICEF report, both my original home and my adopted homeland suck if you're a kid.
They came 20th and 21st out of 21 industrialized countries in happy kid-dom markers. Winners were Holland, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. (Which I'm having a hard time getting my mind around, because really . . . I mean really - Holland, Sweden, Denmark and Finland? Nothing against you guys, I'm sure you all love your country and stuff, but . . . . Well, maybe I could go for the Netherlands, if America sank tomorrow or something. Which it seems increasingly likely to do.)
The Independent newspaper, describing the report says:
British children are languishing at the bottom of an international league table examining the physical and emotional well-being of youngsters in the world's wealthiest nations.
Despite living in the fifth richest country, the next generation of UK citizens experience some of the worst levels of poverty. The research found they regard themselves as less happy, and that they drank more alcohol, took more drugs, and had more underage sex than children overseas.
Now I really don't get it. They drank more alchohol, took more drugs and had more underage sex than the others in the study and they were less happy? Perhaps all the study is showing is that Brits love to be miserable. If the study had been set up to give people extra happiness points for having better opportunities for being studiedly dissatisfied, Britain would have won hands down.