Norway has been named the world’s best place to be a mother in an annual report released by Save the Children. Save the Children is an independent organization dedicated to helping children throughout the world and has been producing the State of the World’s Mothers report for 13 years now. The rating system takes into consideration factors such as the overall health and well-being of both mothers and children. These considerations include the availability of education for girls, the mother and infant mortality rates, the number of women in politics, earned income rates, the number of births attended by a medical professional, nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life and the breastfeeding policies.
The United States ranked 25th on this list of 165 countries mostly due to the high rates of teen pregnancy, overall poverty levels and the lack of access to healthcare that many Americans experience.
So what makes Norway moms the best in the world?
Norway leads the list due to a couple of key factors. They enjoy the highest ratio of female-earned income in comparison to men and also boast the second-lowest mortality rate in the world for children under the age of five. Add in generous maternity leave packages, noticeably higher rates of female education and inclusion in politics, as well as access to programs geared for new families, and you have the makings of happy moms.
Norway is also ranked No. 1 in the world for productivity, measured by GDP per total hours worked, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. For children, this research shows that, when they participate in early childhood education and preschool, they are better socialized and more prepared to learn when they enter school.
And for working mothers, having access to affordable child care encourages them to enter the work force and then to stay in it. Women in general are highly productive contributors to the economy. Michael Krashinsky, an economist at the University of Toronto, said: “It’s continuous attachment to the labour force that’s really important to high-productivity workers. Good maternity leave policies and subsidized child care are a big part of that.”