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Save the Children: U.S. Ranks 25th Best Country To Be a Mother

Norway comes in at No. 1. in a new report published by the Westport-based international charity Save the Children.

Where are the world’s best and worst places to be a mother?

According to a report from the Save the Children Foundation, headquartered in Westport, Norway ranks at No. 1 while the United States comes in at No. 25.

The 13th annual Mothers’ Index, part of the State of the Worlds Mothers Report, analyzes health, education and economic conditions for mothers and children in 165 countries.

"While the United States has moved up in the rankings, ahead of last year's 31st place, we still fall below most wealthy nations," said Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children, in a news release. "A woman in the United States is more than seven times as likely to die of a pregnancy-related cause in her lifetime than a woman in Italy or Ireland."

The United States does not rank higher on the list for a number of factors, the agency said.

In the United States, mothers face a one in 2,100 risk of maternal death—the highest of any industrialized nation, the organization reports.

The United States also has the least-generous maternity leave policy of any wealthy nation, and it lags behind with regard to preschool enrollment and the political status of women. Performance in both areas places it among the bottom 10 in the developed world.

According to the Fairfax County Office for Children in Virginia, each year about 12,000 women in the county give birth, and almost 60 percent of women return to work within three months of childbirth. 

Niger ranks last on the Mothers Index list. According to the report, the index relies on information published by governments, research institutions and international agencies.

The report indicates that virtually every birth in Norway is observed by a health professional, while only one in three births are attended in Niger.

A typical Norwegian girl can expect to receive 18 years of formal education and will live to be over 83 years old. At the opposite end of the spectrum, in Niger, a typical girl receives only four years of education and lives to be only 56 years old, the report states.

Editor's note: This article previously was published by Fairfax City Patch in Fairfax City, VA.

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