World Facts

Countries Where Children Are Most Likely To Die Before Age 5

8 Sub-Saharan African countries see more than 10% of all live-born children die before age 5.

The mortality rate is high among children under the age of 5 compared to adults. It is estimated that 21,000 children under the age of 5 die every day around the world translating to 15 children dying every minute. The figures could even be higher if all the infant deaths were to be reported. Infant mortality rate, which is the death of children under 5 per 1000 births, is very high in developing countries and the Middle East. The leading causes of infant mortality include poverty, malnutrition, preventable diseases, and negligence from mothers. Eight sub-Saharan countries see more than 8% of all children born die before attaining the age of five years. Some of these countries include;


In Angola, infant mortality rates are one of the highest in the whole world according to UNICEF. The mortality rate is at 96% with a reported death of 157 children per 1000 live births. Angola is rising from the shadow of decades of civil wars and unrest and as such the country is still facing a myriad of challenges that affect mostly children. One of the contributing factors to high under-5 mortality is poverty. Most of the families in Angola live in rural areas with little access to proper nutrition. Children with weak bodies cannot grow past five years. AIDS is also prevalent in Angola with most children born when already infected. Such children do not have access to proper medical facilities thus they do not live past five years.


Chad is one of the countries in West Africa with a high infant mortality rate of 139 deaths for every 1000 live births. The death rate is significantly high among children below 5 years of age, mainly caused by preventable causes according to the UNICEF statistics. Most of the deaths are a result of the economic situation of women in Chad. The majority of expectant mothers in the country do not have access to maternal health services. Health centers are not equipped enough with skilled personnel to handle maternal health cases. Only one-fifth of the children in Angola have been immunized thus a majority of the children are exposed to immune deficiency diseases. The influx of refugees from Darfur has also significantly increased the number of under five years deaths.


Somali reports 137 under five deaths for every 1,000 live births with higher numbers reported mostly in the south and central Somalia. Pneumonia, diarrhea, and measles are the common causes of under five-year deaths in Somalia. Malnutrition is the main factor which leads to 30% of infant deaths because of the levels of poverty in the country. Mothers also lack proper maternal health care and as such contribute highly to infant and maternal mortality.


The Central Africa Republic and Sierra Leon reports more than 120 deaths per 1000 live births. Infant mortality rate is an indicator of the health of the overall population. Countries with high child mortality rates are likely to have unhealthy population. The future population is significantly affected by the high infant death in any country since the current population is likely not to have a low replacement in the future. Improved maternal health, proper nutrition, and immunization are some of the ways of reducing under-five deaths.

Countries Where Children Are Most Likely To Die Before Age 5

RankCountryUnder 5 Deaths per 1,000 Live Births
4Central African Republic130
5Sierra Leone120
9DR Congo98

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