Norway second best place to be a mum: report
Norway has leapfrogged Sweden to second place in a list of the world's best country in which to be a mother, after reporting a slight rise in maternal mortality.
The State of the World's Mothers report, published by Save the Children, has ranked Norway in top place four times in its 15-year history. Last year it fell to third place behind Finland and Sweden after three years in a row in the top spot.
Save the Children said that Finland had won this year because it did well on all five of the organisation's criteria: Maternal Health; educational status; Children's wellbeing; economic status; and political status.
"Although Finland does not perform the absolute best overall in any indicator, it is the only country to place in the top 15 on all five indicators," the report concluded.
Norway is second only to Sweden in the number of times it has topped the list. Finland has claimed the lead rank twice, and Switzerland once.
Tove Wang, Secretary General of Save the Children, said the gulf between the worst-performing country, Somalia, and Finland was "striking", with one in sixteen Somali women dying in childbirth, 15 percent of Somali children dying before age five, and with a Somali child receiving an average of just two and a half years schooling.
"In Somalia, located at the very bottom of the list, there has been conflict for decades, and there has been little focus on building up basic services," she said. "There must be a security situation that makes it possible to build a robust health system. It has failed in Somalia because of the situation there."
Somalia regained the bottom place from Niger, which was ranked worst in 2013.
The organization warned that the United States's performance was deteriorating rapidly, slipping from top ten early in the ranking's history to 31st place today.
"The health of American mothers and children is falling behind," the report warned. "The United States is among the countries that has made the least progress since 2000 on maternal and child survival."