The Progress of Nations: Nutrition

Breastfeeding league

The percentage of babies who are exclusively breastfed for the first four months of life varies from 90% to 1% depending on where the baby is born.

For any infant, breastmilk provides the best possible nutrition and protection against infection during the early months of life. Giving a baby other foods or drinks at this time increases the chances of infection. The poorer the circumstances of the family, the more vital the protection that breastfeeding affords.

Breastfeeding league

% of babies receiving breastmilk alone for first four months

Sub-Saharan Africa
Rwanda 90Zambia 13
Burundi 89Mauritania 12
Ethiopia 74Togo 10
Zaire 68Ghana 8
C. African Rep. 54Mali 8
Madagascar 47Cameroon 7
Congo 43Senegal 7
Botswana 41Angola 3
Tanzania 32Burkina Faso 3
Namibia 22Cote d'Ivoire 3
Kenya 17Malawi 3
Mauritius 16Nigeria 2
Zimbabwe 16Niger 1
Liberia 15
Middle East and North Africa
Morocco 65Yemen 15
Iran 48Sudan 14
Egypt 38Turkey 14
Jordan 32Tunisia 12
Central Asia
Kazakstan 12
Asia and Pacific
China 64Philippines 33
Bangladesh 54Pakistan 25
India 51Sri Lanka 24
Indonesia 47Thailand 4
Nepal 36
Bolivia 53Honduras 11
Peru 40Nicaragua 11
Mexico 38Dominican Rep. 10
Costa Rica 35Trinidad/T. 10
Ecuador 31Paraguay 7
El Salvador 20Brazil 4
Colombia 17Haiti 3

NOTE 'Exclusive breastfeeding' excludes not just other foods but also water and other liquids.

SOURCE Demographic and Health Surveys, and other nationwide surveys, 1986-1995.

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