Singapore is the best place in the world for children to grow up in, while the US trails at 36th place

Released on Wednesday (May 29), the End of Childhood Index assesses where children are missing out on childhood the most.
Singapore Press Holdings

Children born today have a better chance of growing up healthy, educated and protected as compared to a generation ago – especially if they are born in Singapore, a study has found.

The Lion City has been placed first in a list of 176 countries, ranked according to childhood protection, published in the third annual Global Childhood report by non-profit Save the Children.

Released on Wednesday (May 29), the End of Childhood Index assesses where children are missing out on childhood the most, and scores each country on a scale of one to 1,000.

It also measures the extent to which children in each country experience “childhood enders” such as death, severe malnutrition, being out of school and shouldering the burdens of adult roles in work, marriage and motherhood, Save the Children said.

Singapore had the highest score of 989, up from 972 in the previous ranking published in 2000.

The report said that in 2017, the under-5 mortality rate for every 1,000 live births in Singapore was 2.8, among the lowest in the world.

Additionally, the report revealed that there were no records of malnourished children aged 0 to 59 months, or children aged five to 17 engaged in child labour from 2013 to 2018.

Meanwhile, only 0.1 per cent of children in Singapore were not attending primary or secondary school in the same time period, the report added.

Following Singapore, Sweden and Finland clinched second place and third place respectively.

The only other Asian country on the list of top 10 countries was South Korea – which tied with Italy at eighth place – holding a score of 980.

Around the region, Australia ranked 15th, Japan ranked 19th while Malaysia took 71st spot.

The UK came in at 22nd place, and the US tied with China at 36th.

While the group said that 173 out of 176 countries are now doing better at giving their children full and stable childhoods compared to nine years ago, countries with armed conflict and widespread poverty remain at the bottom of the list.

According to the organisation, children in these places – such as lowest-ranking Central African Republic –  were “the least likely to fully experience childhood”.

Save the Children

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