Millennium Development Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
Target: Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five
Industrialized countries have achieved substantial reductions in child mortality since 1990. In 1990, 1 in 100 children died before reaching five years of age; by 2002 that rate had improved to 1 in 143. Scandinavian countries enjoy the lowest rate of child mortality.
The under-five mortality rate of 20 of the 36 industrialized countries is double that of the best performing country, Sweden, where the rate is just 3 out of every 1,000 live births. In Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, child mortality rates are conspicuously higher than the region’s average.
Some of the industrialized countries still have work ahead of them to further reduce under five mortality rates. Yet for those countries with the lowest mortality rates, the specific goal of reducing levels of under five mortality by two thirds may not need the same emphasis.
Source: UNICEF, Progress For Children: A Child Survival Report Card, Vol. 1 New York, 2004.