More than any other piece of data, this (combined with the cost of childcare) was convincing in our understanding of Sweden as a better place to bring up children than the UK.
The followup work specifically comparing Sweden and the UK (and also Spain) is also interesting: the main reason for the UK being so low is the high levels of materialistic consumer culture, that leads to pressure to earn more, pushing working parents (fathers in particular) to work longer hours and see less of the family.
Now this is Report Card 7, with data from 2007. There has been more recent work from 2010 showing a positional improvement for the UK. However, I suspect this is more due to:
- Inclusion of more (poorer) nations
- Impact of the banking crisis being greater in some Eurozone countries (eg Ireland, Greece, Italy) than the UK
rather than any actual improvement in the UK’s child wellbeing. I also suspect that since 2010, it’s got much worse in the UK — particularly in England.