World: Lowest Infant Mortality Rates, by country
CountryChild deaths,
in the first year of life per 1000 live births
Hong KongHong Kong2.52
South KoreaSouth Korea2.83
  • Region: Worldwide
  • Time period: 2023
  • Published: Apr 2024

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Apr 13, 2024 | Published by: Statistico | About Us / Data / Analysis

Countries with the Lowest Infant Mortality Rates

Slovenia, Singapore, and Iceland lead with the lowest infant mortality rates globally, demonstrating robust healthcare systems. Specifically, Slovenia has an exceptional rate of 1.51 deaths per 1000 live births, closely followed by Singapore and Iceland with 1.54 and 1.63 deaths respectively, highlighting the effectiveness of their healthcare policies and practices in ensuring infant health.

Geographical Distribution of Low Infant Mortality

European countries dominate the list of nations with the lowest infant mortality rates, indicating a regional trend towards higher healthcare standards and practices. With countries like Slovenia, Iceland, and Finland featuring prominently, the European continent shows a strong commitment to child healthcare, contrasting with the global diversity in healthcare outcomes.

Asia-Pacific Representation

Asian and Pacific countries, including Singapore, Japan, and Australia, also feature prominently, with Japan achieving an impressive rate of 1.88 deaths per 1000 live births. This underscores the region’s advancements in healthcare technology and maternal and infant care, reflecting their prioritization of healthcare infrastructure.

Comparative Rates Between Close Neighbors

Notably, Scandinavian countries, such as Finland, Sweden, and Norway, all showcase low infant mortality rates, yet there are slight variances among them. Finland leads with a rate of 2.11, while Sweden and Norway are tied at 2.28. These differences, albeit small, may reflect variations in healthcare approaches, funding, and social support systems within these geographically and culturally connected nations.

Differences in Rates Within Top Performers

The gap between the highest and lowest rates among the top performers is minor, yet significant, spanning from Slovenia’s 1.51 to Germany’s 3.14. This range, though within a small scale, points to the impactful differences in healthcare systems, policies, and practices that can influence infant mortality rates even among the world’s leading countries in healthcare.

Implications of the Data for Healthcare Policies

The data provides critical insights for policymakers, indicating that targeted healthcare interventions, including prenatal and postnatal care, can lead to significant improvements in infant mortality rates. Countries like Slovenia and Singapore serve as benchmarks for others aiming to enhance their healthcare systems to protect the most vulnerable populations.

European Countries' Performance

European nations, not just from Scandinavia but also including Czechia, Spain, and Portugal, show a strong performance with rates ranging from 2.11 to 2.47 deaths per 1000 live births. Their collective success underscores Europe’s broad commitment to healthcare excellence, beyond the Nordic model, embracing diverse strategies to safeguard infant health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which countries have the lowest infant mortality rates globally?

Slovenia, Singapore, and Iceland lead globally with the lowest infant mortality rates, with Slovenia having an exceptional rate of 1.51 deaths per 1000 live births.

How common is low infant mortality among European countries?

European countries dominate the list of nations with the lowest infant mortality rates, demonstrating the continent's strong commitment to child healthcare.

Terms and Definitions

Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is the number of deaths of infants under one year of age per 1000 live births in a given year. This figure is an essential demographic measure that shows the health status of a population, including access to and quality of healthcare, the socioeconomic status, and living conditions.

A live birth pertains to a baby who, after being expelled or extracted from its mother, shows any sign of life, including beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, deliberate movement of voluntary muscles, or even a single breath.

Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) is the number of deaths of infants within the first 28 days of life per 1000 live births. It is a sub-component of the overall infant mortality rate.

Post-neonatal Mortality Rate is the number of deaths of infants aged between 29 days and less than 1 year per 1000 live births. It's the difference between the infant mortality rate and the neonatal mortality rate.

Perinatal Mortality Rate (PMR) is the number of fetal deaths (stillbirths) and neonatal deaths per 1000 births. It is often used as a quality indicator for obstetric and neonatal care.

Child Mortality Rate is the number of child deaths under the age of 5 per 1000 live births. It is a broader measure that includes the deaths of children before reaching the age of five, including infant mortality.
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