Norway is the world’s best place to be a mother, and eight of the 10 top-ranked countries are in Western Europe. The remaining two are in the southern hemisphere, with Australia ranking second and New Zealand eighth. This year, the United States ranks 31st of 43 developed countries, dropping three spots from last year’s rankings.
Meanwhile, eight of the world’s 10 worst countries to be a mother are in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The world’s toughest place to be a mother is Afghanistan, where two of every five children are malnourished and one in five will die before their fifth birthday. Afghan women have less than five years of schooling on average, and female life expectancy is only 45. Compare that to Norway, where one in 333 children die before age five and women typically complete 18 years of school and live to age 83.