Worst Place to Be a Mom: Niger
US inches up from 31st to 25th: Save the Children report
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2012 10:00 AM CDT
TESSAOUA, NIGER - AUGUST 10: A small Nigerois boy looks on as he sits with his mother whilst waiting for treatment in a Save The Children Clinic in the village of Kouna on August 10, 2005.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Good news for American moms: The United States is a slightly better place to be a mother than it was last year, according to Save the Children's 13th annual report on the topic. The US rose from 31st to 25th place in its look at 165 countries. For the best places to be called Mom, look to Nordic countries: Norway took top honors, followed by Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, and Denmark, reports the Guardian. Niger brings up the rear, below Afghanistan, Yemen, Guinea-Bissau, and Mali.

Among the deciding factors: infant and mother mortality, breastfeeding rates, nutrition, female education, and maternity-leave policies. USA Today reports that America's rise is credited largely to increases in mothers' educational rates, but it's not all good news. Some of the gloomier points: The US is No. 1 among industrialized nations when it comes to maternal deaths, with a rate of one in 2,100; the death rate for children under five is eight in 1,000, ranking us alongside Bosnia and Herzegovina; and our maternity-leave policies lag far behind those of other developed countries.