Some Scandinavian countries make their public statistics available in online databases that anyone can query to do their own analysis. For example one can gather data from the Norden Statistical Bank for all Scandinavian countries. Sweden (home of Hans Rosling, host of the BBC documentary The Joy of Stats) makes available it's data all the way back to 1748 on the SCB Statistical Database for comparison.
For a country comparison I compared Danish marriage and divorce rates to Sweden's because Denmark was the first in the world in 1992 to legalize same sex marriage. Sweden on the other hand did not legalize it until 2009 though they did recognize unions in 1995. Both countries had generous family leave policies over the same period. The change in Swedish marriage laws is summarized in the link below. An analysis comparing Danish and Swedish marriages from 1990-2009 is presented below the link.
Norway-Population statistics. Marriages and divorces, 2009.
Such availability of data can be exciting for researchers but the drawback can be that unscrupulous ones can cherry pick only the parts that support their argument. Uninformed consumers of this research can accept these findings uncritically and the public debate can be influenced negatively. The problem of modern life is that one often does not have time to check everyone's claims.
Katha Pollitt from The Nation magazine has a post at called It Takes a Village, Not a Tiger where poverty is the can be the most important factor affecting children as they grow up for a variety of reasons. A Google search can find data showing that violent crime among juveniles is higher here in the US than in Scandinavian countries.
Gapminder.org (Hans Rosling's institute, the Swede's love their stats) has an interactive graph that allows users to compare countries of the world on various measures across time. In this graph I compared the United States to five Scandinavian countries on children per women and age at first marriage for women. I cannot embed the graph here because it is copyrighted but you can view it at the link below. You can play with it using other measures, countries, or years as well.
Scandinavian Interactive Comparison Graph for Marriage and Child Bearing
Scandinavian Interactive Comparison Graph for Child Bearing and Homicide Rates