Of the 20 wealthiest democratic countries in the world, the United States is scoring dismally in its ability to keep kids alive through childhood. Despite spending more than any other nation on health care per capita for children, an infant born in the United States is 76 percent more likely to die before reaching adulthood than the world’s other wealthiest countries. A frightening new study published in Health Affairs strives to explain why that is the case.
The study analyzed data from the World Health Organization and the global Human Mortality Database in order to determine how the countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) rank on child mortality. The highest performing nations for infant mortality are Iceland, Japan and Sweden. For children between the ages of 1-19, the top nations are Sweden, the Netherlands and Japan. Here are seven reasons why American children are failing to thrive, according to the study.