Iceland has the lowest child mortality rates in western Europe, according to analysis done by a team at the University of Washington.
In total, Iceland averages only less than three deaths of children under five per 1,000 live births every year. Also with three or less were Sweden, Cyprus, Luxembourg and Finland. By contrast, the UK came in last, but even then with only just over five infant deaths per 1,000.
According to a BBC article on the subject, Dr. Christopher Murray, the leader of the study group, pointed out that there have been rapidly accelerating rates of decline in infant mortality in some of the world’s poorest countries, such as in sub-Saharan Africa. He encouraged efforts in improved education for women, the lessening negative impact of HIV, and expansion in programs such as bed nets and vaccination to continue.
Europe as a whole has seen a dramatic decrease in infant mortality during the last 40 years as well. Figures from 1970 show deaths of children under five per 1,000 live births hovering between 20 and 30 in many west European countries.
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