Several time a year there are articles that show Norway on top, or near the top, of different lists: quality of life, conditions for mothers, equality, etc etc. And it is true, Norway does score high on a lot of rankings, and the quality of life is indeed very high. The country has made some very good decisions, especially as it relates to the management of natural resources, that has allowed the country to share the wealth and not enter into Dutch Disease.
However, I sometimes feel that these stories should come with a disclaimer: Yes, the rankings are true, yes, things are generally pretty good in Norway, but let’s face it, it is a country with major oil and gas wealth, it is a small and very manageable system, it has long traditions of equality and trust and low levels of corruptions; we really should be able to get it more or less right.
Therefore I find more reason to celebrate big gains in places with much tougher conditions: For instance that polio is almost eradicated, with just 71 cases in 2015 and in only two countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan). Somalia was declared of polio after going 12 months without a single case. Brazil was able to reduce its infant mortality rate by a great deal and reached the Millenium Development Goal of a 73% reduction.
Anyway, just a little disclaimer for when you read about how amazing Norway is. I am fond of this particular ranking though, showing that Norway is the best place in the world to be a mother.