Chris Van Es

Si los niños sufren, sufre el país

NUEVA YORK – Los niños son el recurso más importante de todos los países. Es así no sólo moralmente, sino también económicamente. Invertir en la salud, la educación y las aptitudes de los niños ofrece los mayores rendimientos económicos a un país. Un nuevo estudio del Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (UNICEF) muestra qué países de ingresos elevados están actuando bien a la hora de hacer esas inversiones y cuáles lo hacen deficientemente.

El informe, Child Well-Being in Rich Countries (“El bienestar de los niños en los países ricos”), adopta una concepción holística de la situación de los niños en los Estados Unidos, el Canadá y Europa: 29 países en total. Los países que ocupan los primeros puestos en la clasificación, aquellos en los que los niños disfrutan de las mejores condiciones, son las socialdemocracias de la Europa occidental. Los Países Bajos encabezan la lista, seguidos de Noruega, Islandia, Finlandia, Suecia y Alemania.

Entre los últimos puestos, nos encontramos con una gran sorpresa: los Estados Unidos, la economía mayor y más rica del mundo, ocupan el puesto 26º, seguidos de tres países mucho más pobres: Lituania, Letonia y Rumania. Francia y el Reino Unido se encuentran en el medio.

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