Mother’s Day is on May 12 in the U.S. (in Sweden, 'Mors Dag' falls on May 26 this year), so it’s fitting to have a look at mothers in the world in 2013. Not surprisingly, it is the European countries, along with Australia, that dominate the top positions on the Mothers’ Index of 2013. The top-ranked countries, in general, are among the best countries in the world for mothers’ and children’s health, educational, economic and political status. Sweden comes in second on the list, with Finland first, followed by Norway in third place, Iceland in fourth, the Netherlands in fifth and Denmark in sixth.

The U.S. comes in as number 30. The contrast between Finland and the lowest-ranked country, Democratic Republic of Congo, is striking.
In Finland, nearly 43 percent of parliamentary seats are held by women; in DR Congo only 8 percent are. A Finnish child can expect to receive almost 17 years of formal education, while the typical child in DR Congo receives 8.5 years. Maternal death is a rare event in Finland (a woman has a less-than one in 12,000 chance of dying in pregnancy and childbirth), whereas in DR Congo, one woman in 30 is likely to die of a maternal cause.


The list was compiled by the Save the Children charity. The Mothers’ Index uses indicators of maternal health and under-5 mortality as well as women’s education, income and political status.

For the full report: