Norway is the second-best country in the world to raise a family, study claims

FamilyPhoto: Jakob Owens / Unsplash

Seeking to move to a family-friendly location? Iceland may be the best choice, but Norway is in second place, according to a 2020 study.

Asher & Lyric, a family research blog, ranked Iceland #1 on its 2020 Raising a Family Index.

A total of 35 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries were ranked in the study.

To calculate each of the 35 country’s rankings, the index used 30 recognized international sources.

The top 10 countries for raising a family

Most of the top ten countries on the list are Nordic. Here are the top ten reported countries for raising a family:

1. Iceland

2. Norway

3. Sweden

4. Finland

5. Luxembourg

6. Denmark

7. Germany

8. Austria

9. Belgium

10. Czech Republic

The bottom 10 countries for raising a family

The 10 worst countries for raising a family were given as (from worst to best):

1. Mexico

2. United States

3. Chile

4. Turkey

5. Bulgaria

6. Romania

7. Greece

8. South Korea

9. Slovak Republic

10. Israel

Index measures

Six factors were used in the index: Cost, Education, Happiness, Health, Safety, and Time. 

What indicators are the factors made of?

Cost takes into consideration…

  • The % of private household income going toward net child care costs – for a family with an average wage
  • Government spending on family benefits – e.g. child care support and tax credits by % of GDP
  • Private spending on education – from elementary through college by % of GDP
  • Out-of-pocket health spending per capita
  • The Purchasing Power Index – cost of living vs. monthly income

Education takes into consideration…

  • Enrollment rate among students aged 15 to 19
  • Enrollment rate among students aged 20 to 24
  • Reading performance of 15-year-olds
  • Mathematics performance of 15-year-olds
  • Science performance of 15-year-olds

Happiness takes into consideration…

  • The Human Freedom Index, which measures human freedom as the absence of coercive constraint 
  • The World Happiness Index
  • Suicide rates per 100,000 people
  • LGBTQ+ adoption recognition laws
  • Family income inequality – measuring the national income gap for families

Health takes into consideration…

  • Maternal mortality rate – deaths per 100,00 live births
  • Under-five child mortality rate – deaths per 1,000 children
  • Unmet demand for family planning – measures likelihood of unwanted pregnancies
  • Air pollution exposure – percent of population exposed above W.H.O. limits
  • Life expectancy – at birth in years

Safety takes into consideration…

  • Homicide rate per 100,000 people
  • The Law & Order Index
  • The Global Peace Index
  • Number of school shootings – from 2009-2018 per 10 million people
  • Human rights – measuring the degree to which governments protect and respect human rights

Time takes into consideration…

  • Hours worked per worker in a year
  • Paid maternity leave – in weeks based on full-pay equivalent
  • Paid paternity leave – in weeks based on full-pay equivalent
  • Paid sick leave – based on full-par for a 5-day flu, in days
  • Paid vacation leave in days

Iceland got an A+ in Safety, Cost, and Health, an A- in Time, and a B- in Education.

The other top-ranking countries, especially Norway which comes in at #2, did similarly well.

Source: Norway Today


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