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Last Updated: Wednesday February 14 2007 16:10 GMT

What's in the report?

Child silhouette

The UK isn't a great place for children to grow up, according to a survey on the quality of children's lives in 21 countries around the world.

The study looked at how happy you are in six areas. These were:

  • How many kids are in poverty
  • Health and safety
  • Education
  • Relationships with friends and family
  • How you behave
  • How happy you are with your life

We looked at the report and here are some of the areas we think affect you:

Child poverty

Kids were asked if they had their own bedroom, how many computers were in their homes and how often they had holidays with their families as part of the research into how many children were living in poverty.

The good news is that nine of the 21 countries have reduced child poverty, but more than 15% of children live in poverty in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland, America and the UK.


Unhappy boy
Loads of kids who were asked said they'd been bullied in the past two months

The relationships you have with your family and friends are very important in considering your quality of life.

Bullying is a big problem in UK schools and one of the biggest worries in the results was how kids felt about other people their age.

In the UK, just over 40% of kids said they found other kids kind and helpful, putting us at the bottom of the table.

But nearly 50% of kids said they'd been involved in fighting in the past 12 months and almost 40% had been victims of bullying in the past two months.

But it's not all bad news.....

Kids were also asked how often their parents spent time talking to them and how many times a week they ate their main meal with their family.

In Italy, a staggering 90% of kids eat with their families compared to just 60% in the UK.

But UK parents spend a lot more time talking to their children than in other countries.

Although we didn't top the table, only a handful of countries bettered the 60% of kids in the UK who said their parents regularly spent time 'just talking to them'.

School and health

Finland, Canada, Australia, and Japan all did well for kids' educational well-being.

But the UK was in the bottom third of the table again with just 19% of kids saying they liked school 'a lot'.

Kids were also asked about their eating and exercise habits and it seems the healthy eating message isn't getting through.

Overall, of all the kids questioned, only about a third of them said they ate fruit every day or exercised for an hour or more, five or more days a week.

But despite recent press reports, children in Ireland, Canada and the UK take the most exercise. Those in Belgium and France do the least.

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