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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/16/13

How the U.S. Performs in Recent International Rankings; Hint: 3rd, as in Third World

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Two sets of international rankings were recently issued, one from UNICEF, "Child Well-Being in Rich Countries," and the other from the World Economic Forum, "The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013."

 

"Child Well-Being in Rich Countries" ranks 29 developed countries, according to the well-being of their children, on numerous factors.

 

The U.S. ranks #26 overall for "Child Well-Being." This overall rank includes: #26 for "Material Well-Being"; #28 for "Child Poverty Rates"; #25 for "Health and Safety"; #26 for "Infant Mortality Rates"; #26 for "Low Birthweight"; #22 for "Immunization Rates"; #27 for "Educational Well-Being"; #27 for "Preschool Enrollment Rates"; #25 for "Participation in Further Education"; #16 for "Educational Achievement by Age 15"; #29 for "Overweight"; #2 for "Exercise"; #29 for teen-pregnancy rates; #1 for "Alcohol" (U.S. receives the top rank for absence of drunkenness); #4 for "Smoking" (again, absence); #11 for "Fighting"; #12 for "Being Bullied"; #23 for "Housing"; #27 for "Homicide"; #3 for (lack of) "Air Pollution"; #23 for children's self-reported "Life Satisfaction"; and #28 for "Relationships with Parents and Peers."

  

The top-rated countries for child well-being, overall, in order, are: (1) Netherlands; (2) Norway; (3) Iceland; (4) Finland; (5) Sweden); (6) Germany; (7) Luxembourg; (8) Switzerland; (9) Belgium; and (10) Ireland.

 

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A much broader ranking-system, from the World Economic Forum, is "The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013," which ranks 144 countries, on a wide range of factors related to global economic competitiveness.

 

The U.S. ranks as #1 on only 4 out of the 117 different factors that are rated, and each of these 4 factors reflects merely the sheer size, the hugeness, of the U.S. economy. These four factors might thus collectively be identified as the Hugeness components: "GDP," "GDP as a Share of World GDP," "Available Airline Seat Kilometers," and "Domestic Market Size Index." Other than Hugeness, the results for the U.S. are not at all outstanding.

 

Health Care shows the U.S. ranking as #34 on "Life Expectancy," and as #41 on "Infant Mortality." (And, of course, unlike the "Infant Mortality" rankings from UNICEF, this ranking is among 144 countries. Thus: some underdeveloped countries actually have higher life-expectancy than does the U.S.)

 

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Eric Zuesse Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that (more...)
 
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