New Zealand's high youth suicide rate highlighted in new report

New Zealand's high youth suicide rate has been highlighted in the latest international report on children's wellbeing.

The wellbeing of Kiwi kids was ranked 24th out of 41 OECD countries. Source: 1 NEWS

NZ ranked 34th out of 41 EU/OECD countries in the report by the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti.

The report looks at how well countries perform in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

New Zealand performs best in "Sustainable Cities and Communities" - ranked 9th, but comes dead last in the "Good Health and Well-Being" category - 38th overall.

But it's the high adolescent suicide rate that is really highlighted in the report.

The rate of 15.6 youth suicides per 100,000 people puts NZ at the bottom of the table.

NZ also has the 67th highest teenage birth rate, with 23.3 births per 1000 females aged 15 to 19.

UNICEF NZs National Advocacy Manager Prudence Stone says the report is a wake-up call.

Sunday's Jehan Casinader was only asking this question as a scene-setter. The answer left him gobsmacked. Source: Sunday

"Contrary to the way we'd like to think, New Zealand is evidently not the greatest place to grow up in. The more we've focused on New Zealand's economic well-being, the more we've lost sight of our children's," Dr Stone says.

The report says high incomes do not automatically lead to improved outcomes for all children, and may in fact deepen inequalities.

Dr Stone says Kiwi kids are continuing to miss out.

The report also finds 10 per cent of children under the age of 15 are living with an adult who is deemed "food insecure".

Deputy Labour leader Jacinda Adern says "failing to put food on the table is more common than the Government cares to admit".

"The report shows that national income alone is no guarantee of a good record in sustaining child wellbeing."

New Zealand did not receive a ranking last year due to insufficient data on performance across the SDGs.