A nation of bad parents: Britain's youngsters amongst world's worst for drinking, smoking and teenage pregnancy, warns the OECD
By James Chapman
Last updated at 8:35 AM on 02nd September 2009
Drinking, promiscuity and a cycle of low aspiration mean Britain is becoming the 'bad parent' of the western world.
A vast study of youngsters' well-being in 30 industrialised nations ranked Britain among the worst for health, lifestyles and school standards relative to public spending levels.
Underage teenagers in Britain are more likely to get drunk than those in any other country, and the proportions of teenage mothers and single-parent families are among the highest in the survey.
In 'risky behaviour' - a combination of drinking, smoking and teenage pregnancy - Britain's performance is worse than all nations other than Turkey and Mexico.
Staggering: Drunkenness is more common among girls
Educational achievement is low given the billions poured in by Labour, with more than one in ten youngsters aged 15 to 19 not in school, training or work. This is the fourth highest rate in the 30 countries, ahead only of Italy, Turkey and Mexico.
Last night a youth charity warned: 'Unless we can start to improve this situation the UK risks becoming the bad parent of Europe.'