Ranking of the 20 countries* with the highest infant mortality rate in 2017 (child deaths in the first year of life per thousand live births)

Countries with the highest infant mortality rate 2017 This statistic shows the 20 countries* with the highest infant mortality rate in 2017. An estimated 110.6 infants per 1,000 live births died in the first year of life in Afghanistan in 2017.
Infant and child mortality

Infant mortality usually refers to the death of children younger than one year. Child mortality, which is often used synonymously with infant mortality, is the death of children younger than five. Among the main causes are pneumonia, diarrhea – which causes dehydration – and infections in newborns, with malnutrition also posing a severe problem. As can be seen above, most countries with a high infant mortality rate are developing countries or emerging countries, most of which are located in Africa. Good health care and hygiene are crucial in reducing child mortality; among the countries with the lowest infant mortality rate are exclusively developed countries, whose inhabitants usually have access to clean water and comprehensive health care. Access to vaccinations, antibiotics and a balanced nutrition also help reducing child mortality in these regions.

In some countries, infants are killed if they turn out to be of a certain gender. India, for example, is known as a country where a lot of girls are aborted or killed right after birth, as they are considered to be too expensive for poorer families, who traditionally have to pay a costly dowry on the girl’s wedding day. Interestingly, the global mortality rate among boys is higher than that for girls, which could be due to the fact that more male infants are actually born than female ones. Other theories include a stronger immune system in girls, or more premature births among boys.
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Child deaths in the first year of life per 1,000 live births
Afghanistan110.6
Somalia94.8
Central African Republic86.3
Guinea-Bissau85.7
Chad85.4
Niger81.1
Burkina Faso72.2
Nigeria69.8
Mali69.5
Sierra Leone68.4
Democratic Republic of Congo68.2
Angola67.6
Mozambique65.9
Equatorial Guinea65.2
South Sudan62.8
Zambia61.1
Gambia60.2
Comoros60
Burundi58.8
Uganda56.1
Child deaths in the first year of life per 1,000 live births
Afghanistan110.6
Somalia94.8
Central African Republic86.3
Guinea-Bissau85.7
Chad85.4
Niger81.1
Burkina Faso72.2
Nigeria69.8
Mali69.5
Sierra Leone68.4
Democratic Republic of Congo68.2
Angola67.6
Mozambique65.9
Equatorial Guinea65.2
South Sudan62.8
Zambia61.1
Gambia60.2
Comoros60
Burundi58.8
Uganda56.1
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This statistic shows the 20 countries* with the highest infant mortality rate in 2017. An estimated 110.6 infants per 1,000 live births died in the first year of life in Afghanistan in 2017.
Infant and child mortality

Infant mortality usually refers to the death of children younger than one year. Child mortality, which is often used synonymously with infant mortality, is the death of children younger than five. Among the main causes are pneumonia, diarrhea – which causes dehydration – and infections in newborns, with malnutrition also posing a severe problem. As can be seen above, most countries with a high infant mortality rate are developing countries or emerging countries, most of which are located in Africa. Good health care and hygiene are crucial in reducing child mortality; among the countries with the lowest infant mortality rate are exclusively developed countries, whose inhabitants usually have access to clean water and comprehensive health care. Access to vaccinations, antibiotics and a balanced nutrition also help reducing child mortality in these regions.

In some countries, infants are killed if they turn out to be of a certain gender. India, for example, is known as a country where a lot of girls are aborted or killed right after birth, as they are considered to be too expensive for poorer families, who traditionally have to pay a costly dowry on the girl’s wedding day. Interestingly, the global mortality rate among boys is higher than that for girls, which could be due to the fact that more male infants are actually born than female ones. Other theories include a stronger immune system in girls, or more premature births among boys.
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Release date
2018
Region
Worldwide
Survey time period
2017
Supplementary notes
According to the source, all values are estimates.

*States and territories.
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