In the event of childbirth

The compensation payable to a single parent receiving parental benefit differs somewhat between the Nordic countries.

Single parents

Norway provides the highest rate of maternity benefits for a single parent with a new-born. However, because of other benefits like child allowance, housing benefits and maintenance support also Denmark and Faroe Islands are among the countries with the highest compensations rates, at least for the lower income classes.

In all the countries, the maternity benefits increase with the income level. In Denmark the maternity benefits only increase between AW 50 to AW 75. Therefor Denmark together with Island and Sweden are among the countries with the lowest compensations rates for the higher levels of income.


The income loss when having a child is bigger for a couple having their first child compared to couples that already have children. This is the case for all countries and all income classes. One explanation is that a larger part of the income is intact, due to the existing child allowances, for the couples already having children. In Sweden and Island, the expenses for the couples with two children are also reduced, because children are not entitled to payable childcare or after-school care when a parent has parental leave.