Belgium scores poorly in UNICEF report

Belgium has scored badly in a new report by the United Nations’ children’s organisation UNICEF on inequality between children in rich industrialised countries. UNICEF reports that inequality between the most and the least fortunate children is greater in Belgium than in most other wealthy countries.

The report focuses on the well-being of the least fortunate children in the 41 countries that are either EU members or members of the OECD.

UNICEF compared the worst scores with regard to family income, academic attainment, health and life satisfaction with the median or the average in each of the countries surveyed.

With regard to income equality Belgium scores 22nd out 41 countries. Despite the economic crisis, inequality in our country remained relatively stable in the period between 2008 and 2013.

This is thanks to financial transfers via the social security system. As regards health, Belgium scores 15th out of the 35 countries for which figures were available.

Belgium scored much worse when it comes to life satisfaction (30th out of 35). Worst of all was are country’s score when it comes to equality of opportunity in education. Here Belgium came 36th out of the 37 countries for which figures were available. Only Israel does worse.

Based on these figures, UNICEF made an average for each country survey. Belgium ended in 29th place (out of 35) just behind France. Inequality is least in Scandinavian countries. The Netherlands is in 6th place. Only Luxembourg, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Israel scored worse.