Background to Index of child well-being in Europe
When the UK was President of the EU in 2006, and in response to the call during the Luxembourg Presidency of the Atkinson Committee to "mainstream" child well-being in EU social indicators (Marlier et al, 2005), an index of child well-being for the EU25 countries was developed (Bradshaw, Hoelscher and Richardson 2007).
The first EU index was derived from data collected around 2001.
The new index:
- Updates the EU25 index with more recent data that has come available, including the EU Survey of Incomes and Living Conditions 2006, the PISA Survey 2006 and the Health Behaviour of School Children survey 2005/2006;
- Extends the comparison to the EU27 countries plus Norway and Iceland;
- Makes some changes and improvements in the indicators used in the light of criticisms and reflections on the earlier indices.
The well-being of children cannot be represented by a single domain or indicator. Their lives are lived through multiple domains and each has an influence on their well-being. Therefore the index seeks to represent the following seven domains of children’s lives:
- Subjective well-being
- Personal relationships
- Material resources
- Behaviour and risks
- Housing and the environment
The index was constructed by taking 43 indicators from the most up-to-date survey and administrative sources and combining them to represent 19 components, before combining them into the 7 domains.