Child Welfare Statistics by Country

Color Coding Key
GREEN Ranked 1st for statistic
RED Ranked last for statistic

The United States has an extremely high under 5 mortality rate for an advanced democracy and also ranks last in child maltreatment deaths per capita.

  Under 5 mortality rate Child maltreatment deaths per capita (refined) Public expenditure on family benefits Underweight newborns Measels immunizations Child obesity: girls Child obesity: boys Child advertisement
Australia 5 0.8 2.83 6.2 94 24.0 22.0 Industry self-regulated
Canada 6 1.0 1.55 6.2 98 26.1 28.9 Industry self-regulated
Denmark 4 0.8 3.90 7.0 97 15.2 14.1 Restricted
France 4 1.4 3.98 6.8 89 14.9 13.1 Restricted
Germany 4 0.8 3.07 6.9 99 17.6 22.6 Restricted
Italy 4 0.2 1.58 7.1 90 30.9 32.4 Restricted
Japan 3 1.0 1.45 9.6 94 14.4 16.2  
Netherlands 4 0.6 2.48 6.6 96 17.9 14.7 Restricted
Norway 3 0.3 3.34 4.6 93 14.7 12.9 Illegal for kids under 12
Sweden 3 0.6 3.90 4.2 96 19.5 17.0 Illegal for kids under 12
United Kingdom 5 0.9 4.22 7.0 90 26.6 22.7 Restricted
United States 8 2.4 1.22 8.1 90 35.9 35.0 Industry self-regulated


View WHO reportView Graphical Data

Mortality rate for children under five years of age per 1,000 live births, for 2011.

View UNICEF Innocenti Report Card 11View Graphical Data

Deaths due to maltreatment of children under 15 years of age over a span of 5 years per 100,000 children. "Refined" numbers include unaccounted deaths or deaths without explanations.

View OECD family expenditure statisticsView Graphical Data

As a percent of GDP, for 2013. Total of cash, support, and tax breaks toward families. "Support" is public support that is exclusively for families (e.g. child payments and allowances, parental leave benefits and childcare support). Spending recorded in other social policy areas as health and housing support also assists families, but not exclusively, and is not included here. OECD 33 country average is 2.6%.

View OECD health statisticsView Graphical Data

Percentage of live newborn births weighing less than 2,500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces), for 2010 or 2011.

View WHO reportView Graphical Data

Percent of infants born receiving immunizations by their first birthday, for 2011.

View IASO child obesity dataView Graphical Data

International Association for the Study of Obesity. Percent of children ages 5-17 that are overweight or obese, for latest year available (1997-2010).

Child advertisement

National policy on advertising to children. All countries have some level of industry self-regulation, but the countries indicated depend solely on it and have no national law regarding child advertisements. Prominent industry self-regulating examples are given for these countries in the links provided below.

Australia: Australian Association of National Advertisers

Canada: Food and Consumer Products of Canada

European Union: European Commission Audio and Visual Media Policies

Restrictions are as follows: "Advertising shall not cause moral or physical detriment to minors, and shall therefore comply with the following criteria for their protection:

  1. it shall not directly exhort minors to buy a product or a service by exploiting their inexperience or credulity;
  2. it shall not directly encourage minors to persuade their parents or others to purchase the goods or services being advertised;
  3. it shall not exploit the special trust minors place in parents, teachers or other persons;
  4. it shall not unreasonably show minors in dangerous situations.

In addition:

  1. Children's programs may only be interrupted if the scheduled duration is longer than 30 minutes
  2. Product placement is not allowed in children's programs.
  3. The Member States and the Commission should encourage audiovisual media service providers to develop codes of conduct regarding the advertising of certain foods in children's programs."

Norway and Sweden: India Food Brief

United States: AARC Children's Advertising Review Unit


Children's Defense Fund, Monthly Newsletter, March 2011 The CDF report, "Protect Children, Not Guns 2012," analyzes the most recent data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and American gun laws. 5,740 children and teens were killed by guns in 2008 and 2009, eight every day. More children and teenagers were killed by guns in America in those two years than U.S. military personnel killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan. The number of preschoolers killed by guns in 2008 (88) and 2009 (85) was almost double the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2008 (41) and 2009 (48). America is the world leader in gun violence. The most recent data from 23 industrialized nations shows that 87 percent of the children under age 15 killed by guns lived in the United States. Gun homicide was the leading cause of death among Black teenagers 15 to 19 years old in 2008 and 2009. In 2009, Black males 15 to 19 were eight times as likely as White males the same age to be killed in a gun homicide. For White teens the same age the leading cause was motor vehicle accidents followed by gun homicide (2008) and gun suicide (2009).

Source: Children's Defense Fund: Protect Children not Guns

"Children as Consumers," Anup Shah, November 21, 2010

Connects the link between child advertising and child obesity in reviewing the market for and reasons behind the ethical controversy.