Top 5 Countries for New Fathers


2 Father Friendliest Country: Sweden

Swedish dads embrace paternity leave.
Swedish dads embrace paternity leave.
Chad Ehlers/Getty Images

Sweden is a global capital of parent-friendliness. Often hailed as one of the best places in the world for mothers, the Nordic country doesn't leave dads out of the mix, as exemplified by its 1974 decision to broaden government-protected maternity leave into a gender-blind leave policy that provides for 390 days of parental leave per couple, and allows new moms and dads to keep earning 80 percent of their salaries for the duration. In 1995, Sweden introduced paternity leave, and today, in addition to 10 paid paternity days, the government also reserves an additional two months of those 390 parental days specifically for fathers [source: International Labor Organization]. And unlike other European countries with low rates of paternity leave participation, an estimated 85 percent of Swedish dads head home to help out with baby [source: Bennhold].

The result? Career-orientated mothers suffer less employment discrimination and are taking less time off of work, allowing fathers to fill in the gap, and divorce rates have dropped in the meantime [source: Bennhold]. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving -- just like a newborn baby.