Lifestyle & Belief

Here are the world's best and worst countries for mothers


Mother and daughter in Bhutan.


Christopher J. Fynn

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Save the Children has released its annual State of the World’s Mothers report, which includes a list and a map of the best and worst places to be a mother.

The report collates maternal health, infant mortality, educational opportunity, per capita income, and the political status of women to figure out where in the world mothers are having the best time.

So if you’re expecting, try moving to one of these countries (or just book your mom a nice trip):

  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Iceland
  • Netherlands
  • Denmark
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • Australia
  • Belgium

And if you live in one of these places, get the heck out of dodge:

  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • Chad
  • Nigeria
  • Sierra Leone
  • Central African Republic
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Mali
  • Niger
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Somalia

Being less flippant for a second: Obviously, expectant mothers in these countries often can’t leave, for political or financial reasons. All of the bottom 12 countries, and 36 of the bottom 50, are what the OECD characterizes as “fragile states” — countries with low incomes and low capacity for the state to help its citizens.

This map isn’t a guide for where to settle if you’re pregnant; it’s yet another illustration of the time-worn principle that high-income, peaceful countries with universal health care have generally better quality of life.

So there are no real surprises here. But it’s worth noting that the US hasn’t cracked the top 10 since 2006, and it currently comes in at 31.

Happy Mother’s Day, America!