Fairness for children : a league table of inequality in child well-being in rich countries

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UNICEF Office of Research


This Report Card presents an overview of inequalities in child well-being in 41 countries of the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It focuses on ‘bottom-end inequality’ – the gap between children at the bottom and those in the middle – and addresses the question ‘how far behind are children being allowed to fall?’ in income, education, health and life satisfaction.

Across the OECD, he risks of poverty have been shifting from the elderly towards youth since the 1980s. These developments accentuate the need to monitor the well-being of the most disadvantaged children, but income inequality also has far-reaching consequences for society, harming educational attainment, key health outcomes and even economic growth. A concern with fairness and social justice requires us to consider whether some members of society are being left so far behind that it unfairly affects their lives both now and in the future. This Report Card asks the same underlying question as Report Card 9, which focused on inequality in child well-being, but uses the most recent data available and includes more countries.





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Copyright © United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), April 2016

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Additional Information

Innocenti Report Card, no. 13

The Innocenti Report Card 13 project was coordinated by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti and assisted by a panel of advisors and reviewers. Research was completed at the end of November 2015.

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Recommended Citation

Hudson, J., & Kühner, S. (2016). Fairness for children: A league table of inequality in child well-being in rich countries. Florence: UNICEF Office of Research.