Britain Worst For Underage Drinking: Study
Minors are more likely to get drunk in Britain than anywhere else in the industrialized world, according to a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Britain also has the highest proportion of teenage mothers, young people without jobs or education, as well as single parents.
The OECD found that youths under 16 were twice as likely to have been drunk in Britain than in the United States or France. Drunkenness was more common among females (50%) than males (44%). A fifth of UK 13-year-olds reportedly said they had drunk too much.
Another issue the report focuses on is teenage pregnancy - 23.4 British girls out 1,000 gave birth during 2005 - a number higher only in Turkey, the US and Mexico. But there were also good news - Britain's children received more public funding than average - but the funding doesn't seem to benefit teenagers.
In “risky behaviours” – drinking, smoking and teenage pregnancy – the UK’s performance is worse than all countries but Mexico and Turkey.
Countries that spend relatively more on their youngest children include Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland and Norway. In contrast, Ireland, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States spend relatively little on young children.
The US, for example, spends USD 20 000 on children up to age six, compared with an OECD average of USD 30 000. Total public spending on children in the US, however, at USD 140 000, is higher than the OECD average of just over USD 125 000. But despite this higher spending, US children do less well in areas such as health and education than their peers in most other countries.