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Mothering › Pregnancy Articles › Infant Mortality, Cesarean, and VBAC Rates

Infant Mortality, Cesarean, and VBAC Rates

By Diana Korte
Issue 89, July/August 1998


Little newborn babyConsidered the gold standard of a nation's health, the infant mortality rate refers to the number of babies who die in their first year of life per 1,000 births. Many developed countries keep track of their cesarean rates, but only a handful track VBACS. Most information in this chart is for 1994-1995. Exceptions are indicated. Most infant mortality statistics came from "Annual Summary of Vital Statistics--1995," by Bernard Guyer et al., Pediatrics 98, no.6 (1996). VBAC and cesarean information came from statisticians in the listed countries. The cesarean rate is falling in the US, Canada, and Australia; while Portugal, Italy, Singapore, and several Latin American nations now perform more cesareans than the US. (See The VBAC Companion, by Diana Korte, for more about cesareans and VBACS around the world.)















































































































































Infant Mortality Rate Cesarean Rate VBAC Rate Country
4.2 11.2 (*) Japan
4.3 27.0 70.0 Singapore
4.4 12.0 (*) Sweden
4.7 15.4 40.4 Finland
5.8 (*) (*) Hong Kong
5.2 12.5 54.1 Norway
5.5 (*) (*) Switzerland
5.6 (*) (*) Denmark
5.6 17.0 (*) Germany
5.9 (*) (*) Ireland
5.9 9.2 (*) Netherlands
5.9 17.5 (*) Australia
6.1 12.4 (*) Austria
6.1 (*) (*) France
6.2 17.6 33.4 Canada
6.2 15.0 43.2 England
6.7 22.4 (*) Italy
7.2(1993) (*) (*) New Zealand
7.2 17.7 (*) Spain
7.4 24.3 (*) Portugal
7.6 (*) (*) Belgium
8.0 20.8 35.5 United States

(*) indicates that no data was available

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Mothering › Pregnancy Articles › Infant Mortality, Cesarean, and VBAC Rates