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Best places in the world to be a mother

Mothers are best off in Norway, with Afghanistan ranking as the worst place to have children.

This twelfth annual Mothers’ Index compares the well-being of mothers and children in 164 countries – more than in any previous year.

The top 10 countries, in general, attain very high scores for mothers’ and children’s health, educational and economic status.

Top 10 places to be a mother

1 Norway  
2 Australia
2 Iceland
4 Sweden
5 Denmark
6 New Zealand
7 Finland
8 Belgium
9 Netherlands
10 France

Why the US ranks low for an industrialised nation

Amongst the frequently asked questions about the Mother’s index is why doesn’t the United States do better in the rankings? One of the key indicators used to calculate wellbeing for mothers is lifetime risk of maternal mortality. The United States’ rate for maternal mortality is 1 in 2,100 – the highest of any industrialized nation. In fact, only three Tier I developed countries – Albania, the Russian Federation and Moldova – performed worse than the United States on this indicator. A woman in the U.S. is more than seven times as likely as a woman in Italy or Ireland to die from pregnancy-related causes and her risk of maternal death is 15-fold that of a woman in Greece.


The child you can save

Within the report, Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University and the author of The Life You Can Save, puts out a call for action to contribute where it counts. "The fact that you have more money than you require to satisfy your basic needs means that you have the ability to help mothers and children in extreme poverty," he says.

Where children have the highest risk of death

Calculations based on UNICEF’s Under-5 mortality estimates(deaths per 1,000 live births) Children in sub-Saharan Africa and Afghanistan have the highest risk of death in the world.


Click here to read the full report ‘State of the World’s Mothers 2011,