The Best and Worst Places In the World to Be a Mom This Mother's Day

While mothers are being celebrated around the world this Sunday, there are some places where it is better to be a mom than others. For the past 15 years, Save The Children, the well-known nonprofit, has ranked countries in its Mothers' Index. The index factors in political, social and economic indicators that support being a mother. Finland and other northern European countries dominate the list due to their high standard of living and economic stability, while countries such as Nigeria, Somalia and Sierra Leone rank poorly. Maternal health, children's well-being, and political status are weighed against economic and political standards to produce an overall rank. The following map shows the best and worst countries to be a mother:

The Top 20 Best Countries:

  1. 1. Finland
  2. 2. Norway
  3. 3. Sweden
  4. 4. Iceland
  5. 5. Netherlands
  6. 6. Denmark
  7. 7. Spain
  8. 8. Germany
  9. 9. Australia
  10. 9. Belgium
  11. 11. Italy
  12. 12. Austria
  13. 13. Switzerland
  14. 14. Portugal
  15. 15. Singapore
  16. 16. New Zealand
  17. 17. Slovenia
  18. 18. Canada
  19. 19. Ireland
  20. 20. France
  21. 20. Greece
  22.  

The United States falls below the United Kingdom, Israel and Poland to a mediocre 31st place. The average under-5 mortality rate (per 1,000 live births) for industrialized countries is 4 while the United States is a meager 7.1. The lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 2,400, which is closer to Lebanon's 1 in 2,100 than the industrialized average of 1 in 8,900. 

Looking at individual states in the U.S., we can further break down where it's best to be a mother. The following map uses Wallethub's rankings of states for working moms. They combined data on day-care quality, pediatric services, gender pay gap, parental-leave policies and the average commute time to create the following index:

The best states to be a mother are

  1. 1. Oregon
  2. 2. District of Columbia
  3. 3. Vermont
  4. 4. Maine
  5. 5. New York
  6. 6. Delaware
  7. 7. Rhode Island
  8. 8. California
  9. 9. Massachusetts
  10. 10. Ohio
  11.  

And the states to avoid

  1.  
  2. 42. Pennsylvania
  3. 43. Missouri
  4. 44. Colorado
  5. 45. Kansas
  6. 46. Nevada
  7. 47. South Carolina
  8. 48. Idaho
  9. 49. Wyoming
  10. 50. Mississippi
  11. 51. Louisiana
  12.  

The graphic below further analyzes the states by category:

MOM_UScategory The best and worst states to be a working mother, by category.  International Business Times/Hanna Sender

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