Scandinavian countries remain the world’s best places in which to become a parent, according to a new report from the charity Save the Children.
They make up four of the five best places to bring up children, based on factors such as health care, education, and economic opportunities.
Ishbel Matheson, from Save the Children, said: “If you are a mum in Finland you are right at the top of the ranking, you have great education, you have good chances of income, you’ve got a really low risk of dying in childbirth and very high chances of your child surviving.”
High maternal and infant mortality rates mean that the Democratic Republic of Congo ranks as the toughest place.
The charity says many of the deaths suffered here could be prevented just by introducing simple, low-cost health care plans.
Surprisingly, perhaps, the United States is ranked 30th behind countries with much lower incomes like Lithuania or Slovenia.
Save the Children says this is largely due to the high numbers of teen pregnancies in the US and relatively poor sex education.
Britain comes 23rd on the list with the Netherlands sixth ahead of Spain, Belgium and Germany.