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This Is Where the US Ranks Among the Best Countries to Raise a Child

The top three countries? Australia, Iceland and Japan.
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By Nehal Aggarwal, Editor
Updated December 19, 2021
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Image: Getty Images / Sae Chul Chung

A new study from health insurance platform Compare the Market is looking into the best countries in the world to raise a child. According to the study, the US ranks in the middle.

The study looked at six factors to determine its rankings. These included access to clean drinking water, education spending, hospitals (per million people), green spaces (per million people), child vaccination rate and life expectancy. It’s important to note that the study only focused on Organisation for Economic C-Operation and Development (OECD) countries. These are the countries that help economic, social and environmental policy development on a global level.

The data was pulled from OECD, World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO) and Trip Advisor. The study found that out of 31 countries, the US placed as the 17th healthiest country, with the following scores:

  • 19 hospitals (per million people)
  • 31 green spaces (per million people)
  • 93 percent child vaccination rate
  • Age of 76.2 average life expectancy at birth
  • 97.33 percent of the population had access to clean drinking water
  • 6.1 percent of the US’ GDP is spent on education

Overall, the US had a score of 5.24 out of 10. According to the data, the top three countries to raise a child were:

  1. Australia (with an overall score of 7.07 out of 10). The country has one of the highest life expectancies and universal health care.
  2. Iceland (with an overall score of 6.37 out of 10). Almost every person in the country has access to clean drinking water. Plus, Iceland had the highest education spending at 7.7 percent of the GDP.
  3. Japan (with an overall score of 6.29 out of 10). Most people (98.57 percent of the population) have access to clean drinking water and Japan has one of the highest average life expectancies.

To view the full list and rankings, click here. Remember, while the survey took into account some key factors that go into raising a child, it certainly doesn’t paint a complete picture. It doesn’t take into account, for example, access to maternity care, paid maternity leave, socioeconomic differences and more.

It’s no secret that healthy habits should start from an early age. While you may not be able to control what country you live in, according to WHO, there are three lifestyle habits that can set kids up for a healthy life no matter where they live.

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