World: Highest Infant Mortality Rates, by country
CountryChild deaths,
in the first year of life per 1000 live births
Central African RepublicCentral African Republic81.74
Equatorial GuineaEquatorial Guinea77.85
Sierra LeoneSierra Leone72.30
South SudanSouth Sudan61.63
Democratic Republic of CongoDemocratic Republic of Congo59.12
Ivory CoastIvory Coast54.04
Burkina FasoBurkina Faso48.17
  • Region: Worldwide
  • Time period: 2023
  • Published: 2023

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Apr 13, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Afghanistan leads in infant mortality rates

Afghanistan stands out with the highest infant mortality rate at 103.06 child deaths in the first year of life per 1000 live births, significantly higher than any other country listed.

Top five countries exceed global averages

The top five countries, including Somalia (85.06), Central African Republic (81.74), Equatorial Guinea (77.85), and Sierra Leone (72.30), all have infant mortality rates vastly exceeding the global average, highlighting severe healthcare challenges.

Sub-Saharan Africa dominates the list

Sub-Saharan African countries dominate the rankings, with 14 out of the 20 countries listed, indicating a regional crisis in infant health care.

Niger leads in the Sahel region

Niger has the highest infant mortality rate in the Sahel region with 65.53 deaths per 1000 live births, underscoring the region's critical health challenges.

Difference between highest and lowest rates

The difference between the highest (Afghanistan at 103.06) and the lowest (Burkina Faso at 48.17) rates on the list is 54.89, showing significant disparities in infant mortality within the data set.

Pakistan stands out in South Asia

Pakistan is notable as the only South Asian country featured, with an infant mortality rate of 52.73, distinguishing it from its regional neighbors.

Equatorial Guinea's unique position

Equatorial Guinea is unique as the only Middle-income country in the top five, with an infant mortality rate of 77.85, pointing towards specific national challenges despite its economic status.

Countries with rates over 60

Eight countries have infant mortality rates exceeding 60 deaths per 1000 live births, highlighting a high-risk group within the dataset that includes Afghanistan, Somalia, and Central African Republic.

Nigeria and Pakistan's substantial populations

Nigeria and Pakistan, both with significant infant mortality rates of 55.17 and 52.73 respectively, are also countries with large populations, indicating a vast number of affected families and the need for large-scale health interventions.

Majority of countries in West and Central Africa

The majority of the countries listed are in West and Central Africa, emphasizing the geographical concentration of infant mortality issues in these regions, with rates ranging from 48.17 to 85.06.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which country has the highest infant mortality rate?

Afghanistan has the highest infant mortality rate, with 103.06 deaths per 1000 live births.

How many countries have infant mortality rates exceeding 60 deaths per 1000 live births?

A total of eight countries, including Afghanistan, Somalia, and Central African Republic, have infant mortality rates exceeding 60 deaths per 1000 live births.

Terms and Definitions

Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is the statistical measure that estimates the number of infant deaths for every 1,000 live births in a specific area or country during a particular time period, typically within the first year of life.

In demography and health statistics, an infant is a child who is under one year of age. This is the age group that is specifically focused on when calculating infant mortality rates.

The mortality rate is a measure used to indicate the number of deaths in a particular population over a specific period of time. It is usually presented as deaths per 1,000 individuals per year.

Demography is the scientific study of populations, including aspects like size, growth, density, distribution, and vital statistics such as birth and death rates. It plays a valuable role in various societal aspects such as planning, policy making, and social changes.

Perinatal mortality is a measure of the death of fetuses (stillbirths) and deaths among newborns up to a week after birth. It is generally expressed as the number of such deaths per 1,000 total births, which includes both live births and stillbirths.

Neonatal mortality refers to the death of a newborn within the first 28 days of life. It is usually measured as neonatal deaths per thousand live births, an important subset of infant mortality.

Under-five mortality, also known as child mortality, is the death of a child under the age of five. This rate, also expressed per 1,000 live births, is often used alongside infant mortality for a more comprehensive view of child health and survival rates.
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