Singapore best country in the world for children to live in, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Singapore best country in the world for children to live in

This article is more than 12 months old

For the second year in a row, Singapore has been ranked the top country in the world for a child to live in.

The annual Global Childhood Report, released today by international organisation Save The Children, has the Republic beating eight western European nations and South Korea - the only other Asian country in the top 10 list - to clinch the top spot out of 176 countries in terms of providing healthcare, education, nutrition and protection for its children.

Singapore scored 989 out of 1000 in the End of Childhood Index, from eight categories - child deaths; malnutrition; access to education; child labour; child marriage; teen pregnancy; displacement due to conflicts; and child homicide.

Last year, Singapore tied with Slovenia for first place.

National figures showed that the child mortality rate in Singapore was 2.8 per 1,000 live births in 2017 and the child homicide rate in 2016 was 0.1 deaths per 100,000 people aged up to 19 years old.

Mr Hassan Muhammad Saadi Noor, regional director of Save the Children Singapore, said: "While it is highly competitive, the school system (in Singapore) is regularly ranked as among the best in the world. It also has a very high GDP per capita, which it invests in high quality public services like education and healthcare.

"These policies are conducive to creating an environment that protects children from the moment they are born."

According to the report, Singapore has the lowest out-of-school rate in the world at 0.1 per cent. This is the rate of children who are of primary and secondary school age but are not attending school - including school dropouts.

Singapore Children's Society chief executive Alfred Tan said that "very baseline and fundamental criteria" were used in the index. He added: "I believe we can take the next step by developing a higher benchmark for raising kids, in areas such as building character and resilience for children in the cyber-world today."

Mr Tan cited sexual grooming and cyber bullying as examples of online threats that children might be exposed to today.