• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Sweden ranks fifth best place to be a mother

TT/AFP/The Local · 5 May 2015, 11:35

Published: 05 May 2015 11:35 GMT+02:00

Based on five indicators related to maternal health, education, income levels and the status of women, Sweden has been ranked 5th in the world in Save the Children's 16th annual Mothers' Index, which rates a total of 179 countries. 
 
Scandinavian countries have consistently taken the top spots in the index, with Norway this year beating Finland which came first last year. Sweden dropped below Iceland and Denmark after ranking third in 2014.
 
Somalia was ranked the worst place, just below the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
 
Meanwhile the US dropped to the 33rd spot, while the UK only managed 24th place.
 
Sweden scored highly because of its gender balance in parliament and maternal death rates, which are lower than in neighbouring Denmark and in Iceland. Only one mother in 13,600 is at risk of dying during pregnancy or childbirth in Sweden. By contrast American women have a one in 1,800 risk of maternal death, the worst level of risk of any developed country in the world.
 
But all the other Nordic nations were found to offer more expected years of formal schooling and demonstrated slightly lower death rates for under fives, pushing their overall scores above Sweden's.
 
"The report is made in order to show the huge differences between the rich and the poor, and the differences between Scandinavian countries is usually small," Anders Maxon, Media Manager for Save The Children told The Local.
 
"The methodology is too rough to really suggest if there has been a decline in quality of life for Swedish mothers compared to a year ago," he added.
 
 

Stockholm is praised by Save the Children for tackling inequality. Photo: Cecila Larsson/Image Bank Sweden
 
Save the Children also looked at infant mortality rates in the world's 24 wealthiest capitals and noted that both Oslo and Stockholm had fewer than two deaths per 1,000. Washington DC had the highest rate at 7.9.
 
The charity's CEO Carolyn Miles said the data confirmed that a country's economic wealth is not the sole factor leading to happy mothers, but that policies need to be put in place.
 
In the case of Norway, "they do have wealth, but they also invest that wealth in things like mothers and children, as a very high priority," Miles said.
 
The global report singled Stockholm as an example of a city that had managed to reverse extreme inequality and suggested that current developing cities could learn from its experience.
 
Story continues below…
"Stockholm is one of the best places to be a mother and raise a child, but it was not always so. Around 1900, Stockholm was similar to many cities in poor countries today," it said.
 
Save the Children noted that in response to public concern, the city government introduced policies to reduce deaths among these vulnerable groups including advising parents on child care and feeding, improving living conditions and providing clean water and sanitation for all residents. 
 
By 1925, Stockholm’s infant mortality rate had dropped 75 percent and survival gaps had narrowed. 
 
In subsequent decades, the Swedish government also introduced free maternal and child health services, financial support to low-income families and general welfare and housing reforms.
 
"The improvements over the last 50+ years in mortality and morbidity rates in highly urbanized countries like Japan, Sweden, the Netherlands and Singapore are testimony to the potentially health-promoting features of modern cities," the report added.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Sweden advised to bring conscription back in 2018
Bringing back the draft could help a stretched military, a government inquiry says. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Young men and women could be made to fill in questionnaires for recruitment to the Armed Forces as early as next year, according to a new proposal.

Nationalists suspend aide after Russia propaganda claim
The suspended aide is a political secretary to SD member of parliament Kent Ekeroth. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

His suspension comes only days after another of the party's political secretaries resigned amid controversy over a property deal in Russia.

Presented by Lernia
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Photo: Lernia

Struggling to learn Swedish? There are a few ways to make it easier. Here are seven tips from the experts.

Here's how much Sweden's highest-earning authors make
It was a good year for the likes of Jonas Jonasson (left) and Camilla Läckberg (right). Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT & Henrik Montgomery/TT

From Nordic Noir to a hundred-year-old man (and one called Ove), Sweden's authors had a good year in 2015.

Sweden named world's sixth most competitive country
The good news also came with some caveats. Photo: Izabelle Nordfjell/TT

The country moved up three places in the top ten of the latest edition of the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index.

The Swedish celebs you really should not google
'Oh no, don't tell me I just clicked on THAT link.' Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

These are the world's most dangerous viral Swedish celebrities, according to a new report.

Furious elk mum attacks Swede, breaks his arm
You talkin' to me? Photo: Mikael Fritzon/TT

It came back and attacked him not once, but twice.

Report: Stockholm is at risk of a housing bubble
Apartments in Stockholm. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

Stockholmers are the third most likely to experience a housing bubble in their city, according to an international ranking.

The Local List
Reverse culture shock: the troubles of leaving Sweden
Does it get more Swedish than this? Photo: Emelie Asplund/imagebank.sweden.se

Why is that stranger talking to me in the elevator?!

Police close Facebook thread after call for help derails
A file photo of police cars on Gotland not related to the article. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

The Gotland Police Facebook post asking the public for information about an unprovoked attack on two boys had to be closed because the comments section spiraled out of control.

Sponsored Article
Expat finances in Sweden: the Common Reporting Standard
National
Aliens' sex lives? Why Swedes want Nasa to send a condom into space
Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
Analysis & Opinion
'If Sweden really wants startups, drop the red tape on migration'
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
Blog updates

27 September

Cutting your nose …. (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Last week, Jeremy Browne, the Special Representative for the City of London, visited Sweden. Jeremy was…" READ »

 

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
National
Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Sweden
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Gallery
People-watching: September 23rd-25th
Politics
Russian Sweden Democrat aide resigns over suspect deal
National
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
Travel
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
People-watching: September 21st
National
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Gallery
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Culture
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
Gallery
People-watching: September 14th
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Politics
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
Society
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
Features
INTERVIEW: How Arthur the jungle dog opened hearts and minds
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen, Västra Götaland
Society
Sweden's ancient forest tongue Elfdalian fights for survival
National
Where Sweden's foreigners are from
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
The Local Voices
Is Swedish bosses' ignorance keeping refugees out of jobs?
2,961
jobs available