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A Mother's Report Card: The Best - and Worst - Countries for Mothers
Date:5/5/2009

Sweden Tops List, Niger Ranks Last, United States Ranks 27th for Second Year in a Row

Westport, Conn. (Vocus) May 5, 2009 -- Nordic countries lead the globe as the best places to be a mother, while sub-Saharan African countries rank among the worst places for mothers, according to Save the Children's 10th annual Mothers' Index. The global ranking is highlighted in the organization's State of the World's Mothers 2009 report, which focuses on the link between investing in early learning opportunities for young children and school success.

Top 10 Best Places- Bottom 10 Worst Places:
The Mothers' Index ranks the best and most difficult places to be a mother among 158 countries. Among the top 10 best places: Sweden ranks first, followed by Norway, Australia, Iceland, Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands. Among the bottom 10 places: Niger ranks last, followed by Sierra Leone, Chad, Guinea-Bissau, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, Sudan, Angola, Eritrea and Djibouti.

The United States placed 27th for the second year in a row, primarily because it has one of the highest maternal mortality rates among industrialized countries -- 1 in 4,800.

"We call on the world's leaders to take stock of how motherhood and young children are faring in every country," said Charles MacCormack, president and CEO of Save the Children. "Investing in the most basic partnership of all -- the one between a mother and her child -- is the first and best step in ensuring healthy children, prosperous families and strong communities."

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