Save the Children’s 2011 Mothers’ Index

Save the Children’s twelfth annual Mothers’ Index compares the well-being of mothers and children in 164 countries – more than in any previous year. The Mothers’ Index also provides information on an additional eight countries, four of which report sufficient data to present findings on children’s indicators. When these are included, the total comes to 172 countries.

Norway, Australia and Iceland top the rankings this year. The top 10 countries, in general, attain very high scores for mothers’ and children’s health, educational and economic status. Afghanistan ranks last among the 164 countries surveyed. The 10 bottom- ranked countries – eight from sub-Saharan Africa – are a reverse image of the top 10, per- forming poorly on all indicators. The united States places 31st this year.

The twelfth annual Mothers’ Index helps document conditions for mothers and children in 164 countries – 43 developed nations and 121 in the developing world – and shows where mothers fare best and where they face the greatest hardships. All countries for which sufficient data are available are included in the Index. Why should Save the Children be so concerned with mothers? Because more than 75 years of field experience have taught us that the quality of children’s lives depends on the health, security and well-being of their mothers. In short, providing mothers with access to education, economic opportunities and maternal and child health care gives mothers and their children the best chance to survive and thrive.

The Index relies on information published by governments, research institutions and international agencies.

The Complete Mothers’ Index, based on a composite of separate indices for women’s and children’s well-being, appears in the fold-out table in this appendix.

See the findings on page 30 of the study shown below the cut.

Norway generally performed as well as or better than other countries in the rankings on all indicators. It has the highest ratio of female-to-male earned income, the highest contraceptive prevalence rate, one of the lowest under-5 mortality rates and one of the most generous maternity leave policies in the developed world.

The Philippines is classified in Tier 2 under less developed countries minus least developed countries. Out of the 79 countries in Tier 2, the Philippines ranked 49 in the Mother’s Index Rank while the Children’s index rank is 65 out of 81 countries.

These statistics go far beyond mere numbers. The human despair and lost opportunities represented in these numbers demand mothers everywhere be given the basic tools they need to break the cycle of poverty and improve the quality of life for themselves, their children, and for generations to come.

2011 Mother’s Index