If a society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable members, the United States just received an incredibly unflattering judgment.
A new study published by the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, or UNICEF, ranked the wealthiest countries of the world by the well-being of their most disadvantaged children. Out of 41 countries, the U.S. ranked No. 18 overall.
For context, the U.S. ranks No. 1 in total wealth.
The study took a comprehensive approach, comparing the gap between children at the very bottom to those in the middle across a range of criteria – including household income, educational achievement and self-reported health and life satisfaction. The central question was this: How far do countries let those at the very bottom fall?
In the United States, the answer seems to be distressingly far.