Bulgaria had the third-highest infant mortality rate in the European Union in 2019, according to figures released on June 4 by EU statistics agency Eurostat.
The infant mortality rate is defined as the ratio of the number of deaths of children under one year of age to the number of live births in the reference year; the value is expressed per 1000 live births.
In 2019, the highest infant mortality rates in the EU were registered in Malta (6.7 deaths per 1000 live births), Romania (5.8) and Bulgaria (5.6).
In contrast, the lowest rate was recorded in Estonia (1.6 deaths), followed by Slovenia, Finland and Sweden (all 2.1 deaths per 1000 live births).
In the EU in 2019, about 14 100 children died before reaching one year of age. This is equivalent to an infant mortality rate of 3.4 deaths per 1000 live births.
Over the past decade, the infant mortality rate in the EU fell from 4.2 deaths per 1000 live births in 2009 to 3.4 deaths per 1000 live births in 2019. By comparison, in 2009 Bulgaria’s infant mortality rate was 9.0.
Compared with 1961, the infant mortality rate in countries currently members of the EU reduced dramatically: from 38.2 deaths per 1000 live births, Eurostat said.
Compared with 1961, the infant mortality decreased in all EU member states, with the largest decreases recorded in Portugal (from 88.8 deaths per 1 000 live births in 1961 to 2.8 in 2019), Romania (from 71.4 in 1961 to 5.8 in 2019) and Croatia (from 62.9 in 1961 to 4.0 in 2019). In 1961, Bulgaria’s infant mortality rate was 37.8, according to Eurostat.
(Photo: Edal Anton Lefterov)
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