Infant Mortality Rate by Country

Medical infrastructure can make all the difference when it comes to maintaining a very low infant mortality rate.
Medical infrastructure can make all the difference when it comes to maintaining a very low infant mortality rate.

The infant mortality rate is calculated over number of deaths per live birth of 1,000 infants. One of the biggest challenges in both the developed and developing countries in the 20th and 21st centuries has been to decrease infant mortality rates. After much hard work and undertaking huge measures, many countries have found huge reduction in the infant mortality rate but there are many other countries still in worse situation. The major reasons behind this include lack of access to funds and infrastructure, lack of medical professionals, poverty, and discrimination. In addition, there are certain diseases that infants are particularly vulnerable to, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, malnutrition, asphyxia, birth complications, and malaria.

Select Infant Mortality Rates From Around the World

Afghanistan - 110.6 per 1,000

Afghanistan has the highest infant mortality rate in the world, with 110.6 deaths per 1,000 children 5 years old and younger. This sad reality is mainly due to sheer lack of medical facilities. This access is even worse in rural areas outside of the country's major cities. Lack of women's rights and access to healthcare for women also helps to exacerbate this problem. In addition, women often give birth at home, which means that qualified doctors are not usually present to provide medical care.

France - 3.2 per 1,000

France's infant mortality rate is among the lowest in the world, at 3.2 deaths per 1,000 live births. Over the past few decades, France has seen a gradual decrease in infant mortality rate, which was around 21.8 per 1,000 in the 1960s. It is no coincidence then that since 1974, the French have had access to high-quality universal healthcare.

Cuba - 4.4 per 1,000

The island nation of Cuba experiences an infant mortality rate of 4.4 per 1,000. Although this number is higher than several European and North American countries, it is still much lower than the world average of around 30.5 per 1,000. Cuba's rate is currently at the lowest number in the country's history. The prevention of diseases such as measles and whopping cough through vaccination as well as the increased treatment of diseases are two reasons behind the country's decreasing rate.

United States - 5.8 per 1,000

The infant mortality rate in the US is 5.8 per 1,000. Though below the world average, this is above the country's neighbors like Cuba and Canada. The higher rate in the US has been blamed on a lack of accessible healthcare and the lack of a quality social safety net in general. Low-income families and children in the United States are especially vulnerable to infant mortality.

Brazil - 17.5 per 1,000

Many improvements have been made in Brazil in recent years in an effort to address the country's infant mortality rate. Today, Brazil's infant mortality rate is 17.5 per 1,000. The majority of these deaths are said to spur from complications and illness, such as sepsis and meningitis. However, as the country's living standards gradually improve, infant mortality rates are predicated to lower.

Nigeria - 69.8 per 1,000

Nigeria's infant mortality rate is unfortunately among the world's top ten highest, with around 69.8 infant deaths per 1,000 births. In 2016, it was estimated that 10% of all newborn deaths in the world happened in Nigeria. In Nigeria, many pregnant women do not have access to quality, affordable healthcare. As a result, preventable illnesses like diarrhoea and pneumonia claim the lives of many.

North Korea - 22.1 per 1,000

North Korea is estimated to have an infant mortality rate of 22.1 per 1,000. This high rate has been blamed on a shortage of both food and medical staff. It is estimated that nearly half of North Korean children suffer from malnutrition.

Venezuela - 12.2 per 1,000

As Venezuela is currently in a terrible economic crisis, it would make sense that the infant mortality rate is rising. Today, it sits at around 12.2 deaths per 1,000 children born. Along with the infant mortality rate, other illnesses have also increased in Venezuela, such as diphtheria, Zika, and malaria.

Mali - 94.8 per 1,000

Mali has the second highest infant mortality rate in the world, and the highest mortality rate in Africa. Lack of access to medical care for mother and baby, as well as the prevalence of diseases such as malaria are behind these high rates. Unfortunately, although many of these deadly diseases such as malaria and diarrhea are preventable, the lack of resources available in Mali mean that these diseases are not treated.

Somalia - 86.3 per 1,000

Somalia has the second highest infant mortality rate in Africa, as well as the third highest infant mortality rate in the world. Pregnant women who give birth in Somalia are at risk of not only losing their baby, but also their own life. Inadequate health infrastructure only makes the problem harder to solve.

Steps Taken By The Government And UNICEF In Controlling Infant Mortality Rates

The important point to understand before taking measure is that, these places have been affected by wars and had remained isolated from the mainstream. The unstable government and complex laws have broken the rib of the country. Moreover, poor economies have made the situation worse. UNICEF and the governments of these countries have been working together to remove misunderstandings in childbirth. There have been measures taken to reduce illiteracy, polygamy, inhumane laws, and unawareness. The government and UNICEF have setup many medical hospitals and nursing homes. The schools have also benefited children in developing their lives and careers. Although these are steps in the right direction, there are many measures still needed to be taken to reduce the infant mortality rates.

Countries With The Highest Infant Mortality Rates

Rank´╗┐CountryInfant Mortality Rate (Per 1,000 Live Births)
1 Afghanistan110.6
2 Somalia94.8
3 Central African Republic86.3
4 Guinea-Bissau85.7
5 Chad85.4
6 Niger81.1
7 Burkina Faso72.2
8 Nigeria69.8
9 Mali69.5
10 Sierra Leone68.4
11 Congo, Democratic Republic of the68.2
12 Angola67.6
13 Mozambique65.9
14 Equatorial Guinea65.2
15 South Sudan62.8
16 Zambia61.1
17 Gambia, The60.2
18 Comoros60.0
19 Burundi58.8
20 Uganda56.1
21 Cote d'Ivoire55.8
22 Congo, Republic of the54.9
23 Benin52.8
24 Liberia52.2
25 Pakistan52.1
26 Mauritania51.9
27 Western Sahara51.9
28 Cameroon51.0
29 Guinea50.0
30 Laos49.9
31 Ethiopia49.6
32 Senegal49.1
33 Sudan48.8
34 Swaziland/Eswatini48.4
35 Cambodia47.4
36 Haiti46.8
37 Lesotho46.1
38 Yemen46.0
39 Djibouti45.8
40 Sao Tome and Principe45.3
41 Eritrea45.0
42 Gabon44.1
43 Malawi43.4
44 Togo42.2
45 Madagascar41.2
46 Tanzania39.9
47 India39.1
48 Iraq37.5
49 Kenya37.1
50 Papua New Guinea36.3
51 Burma35.8
52 Bolivia35.3
53 Ghana35.2
54 Namibia35.1
55 Timor-Leste35.1
56 Turkmenistan34.3
57 Zimbabwe32.7
58 Bhutan32.1
59 Kiribati32.1
60 Tajikistan31.8
61 Bangladesh31.7
62 South Africa31.0
63 Guyana30.4
64 Rwanda29.7
65 Botswana29.6
66 Tuvalu29.0
67 Nepal27.9
68 Kyrgyzstan25.9
69 Suriname24.5
70 Azerbaijan23.8
71 Indonesia22.7
72 Trinidad and Tobago22.3
73 Korea, North22.1
74 Maldives22.0
75 Cape Verde21.9
76 Morocco21.9
77 Philippines21.4
78 Guatemala21.3
79 Mongolia21.1
80 Micronesia, Federated States of19.8
81 Algeria19.6
82 Kazakhstan19.6
83 Marshall Islands19.3
84 Egypt19.0
85 Belize18.9
86 Paraguay18.7
87 Samoa18.6
88 Peru18.4
89 Nicaragua18.3
90 Uzbekistan18.0
91 Turkey17.6
92 Brazil17.5
93 Dominican Republic17.5
94 Vietnam17.3
95 Honduras17.2
96 El Salvador16.8
97 Gaza Strip16.6
98 Ecuador16.4
99 Iran15.9
100 Georgia15.2
101 Syria14.8
102 Solomon Islands14.7
103 Vanuatu14.4
104 Jordan14.2
105 West Bank14.1
106 Colombia13.6
107 Saint Helena13.3
108 Saudi Arabia13.2
109 Cook Islands13.0
110 Jamaica12.8
111 Oman12.8
112 Armenia12.7
113 Northern Mariana Islands12.7
114 Guam12.6
115 Malaysia12.5
116 Montserrat12.3
117 Venezuela12.2
118 Antigua and Barbuda12.1
119 British Virgin Islands12.1
120 Tunisia12.1
121 China12.0
122 Moldova12.0
123 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines12.0
124 Albania11.9
125 Mexico11.6
126 American Samoa11.3
127 Bahamas, The11.3
128 Tonga11.3
129 Saint Lucia10.9
130 Libya10.8
131 Aruba10.7
132 Dominica10.6
133 Palau10.6
134 Barbados10.2
135 Turks and Caicos Islands10.1
136 Seychelles10.0
137 United Arab Emirates10.0
138 Panama9.9
139 Argentina9.8
140 Mauritius9.8
141 Grenada9.7
142 Brunei9.6
143 Fiji9.5
144 Romania9.4
145 Croatia9.3
146 Thailand9.2
147 Bahrain8.9
148 Greenland8.9
149 Bulgaria8.4
150 Saint Kitts and Nevis8.4
151 Sri Lanka8.4
152 Uruguay8.3
153 Costa Rica8.0
154 Cyprus7.9
155 U.S. Virgin Islands7.9
156 Nauru7.8
157 Ukraine7.8
158 Lebanon7.4
159 Macedonia7.4
160 Kuwait7.0
161 Russia6.8
162 Chile6.6
163 Saint Pierre and Miquelon6.5
164 Puerto Rico6.4
165 Qatar6.2
166 Cayman Islands5.9
167 Gibraltar5.9
168 Serbia5.8
169 United States5.8
170 Bosnia and Herzegovina5.5
171 Faroe Islands5.4
172 Latvia5.2
173 New Caledonia5.2
174 Slovakia5.1
175 Hungary4.9
176 French Polynesia4.6
177 Greece4.6
178 Canada4.5
179 Cuba4.4
180 New Zealand4.4
181 Poland4.4
182 Australia4.3
183 Portugal4.3
184 San Marino4.3
185 Taiwan4.3
186 United Kingdom4.3
187 Wallis and Futuna4.3
188 Liechtenstein4.2
189 Denmark4.0
190 European Union4.0
191 Isle of Man4.0
192 Slovenia3.9
193 Estonia3.8
194 Jersey3.8
195 Lithuania3.8
196 Andorra3.6
197 Belarus3.6
198 Ireland3.6
199 Netherlands3.6
200 Switzerland3.6
201 Malta3.5
202 Austria3.4
203 Belgium3.4
204 Germany3.4
205 Guernsey3.4
206 Israel3.4
207 Luxembourg3.4
208 Anguilla3.3
209 Italy3.3
210 Spain3.3
211 France3.2
212 Macau3.1
213 Korea, South3.0
214 Hong Kong2.7
215 Czech Republic2.6
216 Sweden2.6
217 Bermuda2.5
218 Finland2.5
219 Norway2.5
220 Singapore2.4
221 Iceland2.1
222 Japan2.0
223 Monaco1.8

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