Singapore safest place to be born in Asia: report

Shah Salimat
Singapore is the safest place to be born and the best place to be a mother in Asia, according to a report by children’s aid agency Save The Children. (Yahoo! file photo)

Singapore is the safest place to be born and the best place to be a mother in Asia, according to a report by children’s aid agency Save The Children.

In the 14th “State of the World’s Mothers” report by the agency, Singapore ranked 15th overall in terms of the wellbeing of mothers and children, surpassing all Asian countries, including Japan and South Korea.

It was also ahead of the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand. Finland took top spot, while the Democratic Republic of Congo came in last.

Comparing 176 countries, the report assessed them based on mothers’ and children’s health, and educational, economic and political status.

Slovenia was one level higher than Singapore in the overall score, but it had a higher risk of maternal death as one in every 5,900 mothers was more likely to die there than in the city-state where the rate was one in every 25,300 mothers.

With two deaths in every 1,000 births, Singapore has the second-lowest mortality rate for children under five, with only Iceland beating the city-state in that indicator of well-being.

Although Singapore beat some top 15 countries in educational and economic indicators, it ranked low on the political spectrum, with 24.2 percent of government seats held by women. Slightly over one-fifth of countries outside the top 15 had more women in government than Singapore.

The report does not factor the cost of raising a child in each country. It is understood that the average estimated cost of raising a child in Singapore is between $400,000 to $500,000.

In the report’s inaugural Birth Day Risk Index, Singapore had the lowest first-day mortality rate, together with five other European countries. In Singapore, one baby in every 500 births dies on the day it was born.

An earlier survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit this year also ranked Singapore as the top Asian country to have babies, according to the quality of life the child is expected to have later on in life.