Best Places Around the Globe to Be a Mom

Best Places Around the Globe to Be a Mom

If you were going to guess which countries are the best and worst to be a mother, what would you say?

Luckily, you don't have to guess. A new report from Save the Children can tell you.


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In their 14th annual "Mother's Index," the London-based NGO ranks the world's countries with populations of over 100,000 (and enough data) in order of best for mothers and children to worst.

The survey looked at five key indicators: maternal health, children's well-being, educational status, economic status and political status.

As expected, the Scandinavian countries lead the way. The top ten countries in the index are:

  1. Finland
  2. Sweden
  3. Norway
  4. Iceland
  5. Netherlands
  6. Denmark
  7. Spain
  8. Belgium
  9. Germany
  10. Australia

The lowest-ranking countries on the list are in sub-Saharan Africa: Niger, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Democratic Republic of the Congo are the last five.

And where does the United States fall? No. 30, after Luxembourg and before Japan. Save the Children explains that while the U.S. ranks highly in educational and economic status, we have extremely low ratings when it comes to maternal health, children's well-being and political status. Here's a chilling stat for you: A child born in the U.S. is three times as likely as a child born in Iceland to die before his fifth birthday.

While the results are deeply discouraging, they aren't exactly unexpected. We've known for a long time that maternity leave in Scandinavian countries far outranks the American version, and that some European countries offer benefits and help to mothers that Americans never see.

To see the entire list at a glance, check out the map created by the Washington Post.


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