Just in time for Mother’s Day, Save the Children has released their annual “Mothers’ Index,” a scorecard of the best and worst places in the world to be a mom. Taking into consideration factors such as income levels, education, maternal health and women’s status, the index named Norway as the best country for mothers. Eight other European countries and Australia rounded out the top 10 with Scandinavian countries earning the most high rankings. The ten worst places to be a mother were all countries in sub-Saharan Africa and included Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The United States slipped from 31st place last year to 33rd place this year and actually had the worst level of maternal death risk of any developed country in the entire world (1 death per every 1,800 pregnancies). In a comparison of infant mortality rates in the 24 wealthiest capital cities in the world, Washington D.C. had the highest rate at 7.9 deaths per 1,000 births. While huge differences in education and quality of life exist between the top and bottom countries on the list (for example, .3% of Norwegian children die before their fifth birthday, with the percentage climbing to 15% for Somali children), Save the Children also noted the disparity that exists within cities. A baby born in the poorest part of DC is more than 10 times more likely to die before his first birthday than one born in the richest part of the city.

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