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Which country has the smallest gender gap?

Source: The World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2010

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Iceland has more gender equality than any country, according to the World Economic Forum
  • The United States ranks 19th out of 134 countries in the 2010 Global Gender Gap Index
  • Many factors are considered, including educational opportunity and political representation

Editor's Note: Each Friday, CNN will examine statistics or world rankings to show how countries and territories compare with one another. Who's the best? Who's the worst? And where does the United States fit in? You'll find those answers in our Country Comparisons series.

(CNN) -- How narrow is the gender gap in the United States compared to some other countries?

Check out how the U.S. stacks up on the 40th anniversary of "Women's Equality Day" -- established by the U.S. Congress as every August 26 (the day the Constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote was passed).

Four Nordic countries rank at the top of the Global Gender Gap Index released last year by the World Economic Forum.

Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden were considered to have the smallest gap between men and women when four key areas were taken into account: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

No. 1 Iceland scored a 0.8496 on a scale of 0-1, with 1 being perfect equality between men and women. The lowest country on the list, Yemen, scored a 0.4603.

The United States came in near the top of the overall index, ranking 19th out of 134 countries. It tied for first with 21 other countries that received a perfect score in the educational attainment category. It also ranked sixth in economic participation and opportunity.

Where it might have room for improvement, however, is in health and survival (38th) and political empowerment (40th). The health and survival category looks at the gaps between life expectancies and sex ratios within a country. The political empowerment category measures female representation in government and other decision-making structures.

Many of the countries that rank near the bottom of the Global Gender Gap Index are Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

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