Moms who want the good life should consider heading north. That's because Norway is the best place in the world to be a mother, according to new survey. Why? Norway has great health benefits, an average year-long maternity leave from work, and low child mortality rates, along with a high life expectancy for women (an average 83 years). Iceland and Australia also top the annual "Mother Index" compiled by the Save the Children organization. The US ranks 31st out of 164 countries because it has one of the highest maternal mortality rates among the richest nations, reports AP.
Worst in the world is Afghanistan, where the average mother dies at the age of 45 and one out of every 11 women die in childbirth. One of every five children doesn't survive to the age of 5 in Afghanistan (compared with one of every 175 children in Norway). Eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa also ranked among the worst 10 nations for moms. "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," the report concluded. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)