If you're looking for the safest place to have your baby, well then you better jet off to Japan.


According to UNICEF's Every Child Alive report, Japan has the lowest newborn mortality rate, with just one in every 1,111 babies dying. 


Following Japan, babies in Iceland and Singapore, respectively, have the best chance of survival at birth. In the UK, there is one death for every 385 births. 


Sadly, on the other end of the spectrum, babies in Pakistan fare the worst, with one in every 22 newborns passing away. The Central African Republic and Afghanistan have the second and third highest newborn mortality rates.



A country's income level is linked to a newborn's likelihood of survival, UNICEF found. In high-income countries, an average of three babies die for every 1,000, compared to an average of 27 newborns dying for every 1,000 in low-income countries.


The report, which used data from 2016, noted, "Each of these deaths is a tragedy, especially because the vast majority are preventable."


Below are the countries with the lowest and highest newborn mortality rates:


Highest newborn mortality rates Lowest newborn mortality rates
1. Pakistan (1 in 22) 1. Japan (1 in 1,111)
2. Central African Republic (1 in 24) 2. Iceland (1 in 1,000)
3. Afghanistan (1 in 25) 3. Singapore (1 in 909)
4. Somalia (1 in 26) 4. Finland (1 in 833)
5.Lesotho (1 in 26) 5. Estonia (1 in 769)
6. Guinea-Bissau (1 in 26) 5. Slovenia (1 in 769)
7. South Sudan (1 in 26) 7. Cyprus (1 in 714)
8. Côte d'Ivoire (1 in 27) 8. Belarus (1 in 667)
9. Mali (1 in 28) 8. Luxembourg (1 in 667)
10. Chad (1 in 28) 8. Norway (1 in 667)
  8. Republic of Korea (1 in 667)


UNICEF emphasises that, while deaths among children one month to five years old have fallen greatly in recent decades, there has unfortunately not been similar progress in newborn mortality rates.



"We are failing the youngest, most vulnerable people on the planet – and with so many millions of lives at stake, time is of the essence," they observed in the report.


They found that over 80 percent of newborns die because of 'premature birth, complications during labour and delivery and infections such as sepsis, meningitis and pneumonia'. Stillbirths occur because of similar causes, especially complications during labour.


UNICEF says that increasing access to affordable healthcare and improving the quality of that care are key steps in ensuring that more newborns have long, healthy lives.


Are you surprised by the report's findings, mums?