Lifestyle & Belief

Norway best place to be a mother, says study


A pregnant woman poses on March 19, 2011, in Ygos-Saint-Saturnin, south western France.


Loic Venance

An annual report, called the Mother's Index, released Tuesday states that Norway is the best place in the world to be a mother, and Afghanistan is the worst.

The report, compiled for the past 12 years by Save the Children, takes into consideration a nation's maternal mortality rate, women's life expectancy, and overall health, education and economic conditions for women and children.

A Norwegian woman has an average life expectancy of 83 years, whereas in Afghanistan, it's close to half that at 45 years.

The report also states that in Afghanistan and the nine other worse countries in the world, on average one in six kids dies before the age of five, and one in three suffers from malnutrition. Nearly half the population in these countries lacks access to clean water, AFP reports.

In Afghanistan less than one in six women use modern contraception, and one child in five dies before reaching the age of five.

"At this rate, every mother in Afghanistan is likely to suffer the loss of a child," the report states.

Save the Children looked at women and children in 164 countries.

The 10 best places to be a mother according to the report are: Norway, Australia, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Belgium, Netherlands, France.

The 10 worst places to be a mother are: Afghanistan, Niger, Guinea-Bissau, Yemen, Chad, DR Congo, Eritrea, Mali, Sudan, Central African Republic.

The United States comes in number 31 among the 43 developed countries, it states.

"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," it states.

When looking at children's well-being, the report puts Sweden at the top, and Somalia at the bottom.