The United States of America gets an “F” for family.
In case you thought America wasn’t experiencing enough turmoil of late, the United States has been named the second-worst wealthy nation in which to raise a family in 2020, according to new research by travel site Asher & Lyric.
“The first time I looked at the data, I was in disbelief,” co-founder Lyric Benson-Fergusson said of the findings in the “Raising a Family Index” (RAFI).
The Los Angeles-based mother of two started the site with her Aussie husband, Asher Fergusson, to help people “stay safe, healthy, and happy at home and while traveling,” per the website’s description.
To determine the most and least family-friendly countries, the couple rated 35 OECD countries (part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development forum) according to safety, happiness, cost, health, education, and time.
The US clocked in at an abysmal 34th place, just ahead of last-place finisher Mexico, whose murder rate jumped to the highest in nearly two years as drug cartels have run amok during the coronavirus lockdown. Leading the pack of overall fam-safe nations were Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland.
“I think if we, as Americans, are truly honest with ourselves, we might understand why the United States ranks solidly as the second-worst country to raise a family,” said Benson-Fergusson.
Case in point: The red-white-and-blue came in dead last in terms of time — which the RAFI gauged by maternity leave, vacation days, and other factors — and cost, as measured by out-of-pocket health spending, cost of living, income ratio and more.
The study noted that the US is the only country that doesn’t require employers to offer maternity leave. Even worse, the average household blows 31.79% of their income on child care compared to the 4 to 10% spent by Scandinavian nations.
Most surprising was America’s global safety rating, which was, according to the research, the second-poorest after Mexico.
Despite statistics showing that reported crimes have been on the decline nationwide, the US homicide rate is still eclipsed only by Mexico, per the research. And America reportedly tops the list in school shootings with a whopping 288 incidents from 2009 to 2018, with Mexico placing second at eight and all other countries recording zero, per the study.
The Land of the Free also came in “fourth-worst” for human rights — here defined broadly across several categories including “protection against enslavement, the right to free speech and the right to education.”
The Fergussons attributed the United States’ nationwide mood dip to record “income disparities,” 20% of Americans suffering from mental health issues each year, and a suicide rate that has “increased by 33% between 1999 to 2017.”
“I have come to the heartbreaking conclusion that America is a deeply challenged and troubled country,” Benson-Fergusson lamented. “It doesn’t, and maybe never did, line up with its own ideology.”
“My aspiration is that something will substantially change in my children’s lifetime,” she said.