Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Not so proud any more

Last year, we had something to be proud of: New Zealand was ranked as the 4th best country in the world in which to be a mother. This year, we've dropped to 17th, behind not just the usual Scandinavian suspects, but also a host of middle-ranked European social democracies. Worse, we're barely above Greece, a country in economic collapse. Definitely not something to be proud of.

The major reason is methodological change: the index scrapped over half its indicators in an effort to focus purely on outcomes. However, one one of the retained indicators - lifetime risk of maternal death - New Zealand actually got worse, with that risk increasing from 1 in 3,800 in 2008 to 1 in 3,300 in 2010. In most of those European social democracies the number is less than half that (1 in 6,000), and in the top tier it is only a third (1 in 10,000). So, we've been actively moving backwards, and we have a long way to go as well.

The report's website is here, and the full report can be downloaded here [PDF].