In Save the Children’s 2015 Mothers’ Index, released yesterday, Iceland is listed as the third best place in the world to be a mother, up from fourth place last year. Norway tops the list with Finland placing second.
The two other Nordic countries are in the top five: Denmark ranks fourth and Sweden fifth—the Nordic countries always rank high in the index, mbl.is reports.
At the other end of the scale, the worst five countries to be a mother are all in Africa, from the bottom up: Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, The Central African Republic, Mali and Niger, cnn.com reports.
One woman in 18 in Somalia will eventually die in childbirth.
While 0.3 percent of Norwegian children die before their 5th birthday, some 15 percent of Somali children do. “We need to do more to make sure that all mothers and babies have a fair chance of survival and a happy, healthy life—no matter where they live,” said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children, in a press release.
While the situation looks bleak, about 17,000 fewer children die daily around the world compared to 25 years ago. The number of children who die before their 5th birthday has dropped from 90 to 46 deaths per 1,000 live births.
The five indicators in the 2015 Mothers’ Index of 179 countries are the lifetime risk of maternal death; children’s well-being as measured by their under-5 mortality rate; educational status, as measured by children’s expected years of formal schooling; economic status, as measured by gross national income per capita; and political status, measured by women’s participation in national government.