HEALTH -- August 31, 2011 at 2:57 PM EDT
Slide Show: Newborn Mortality Rates Around the World
The number of global newborn deaths each year fell by 1.3 million over the last two decades, but the first month of life is still one of the most dangerous times for infants and children.
Newborn deaths dropped from 4.6 million in 1990 to 3.3 million in 2009, a new report by the World Health Organization, Save the Children and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine shows. The burden is far higher in the developing world, where 99 percent of newborn deaths occur.
Half of the 3.3 million deaths in 2009 were in just five countries -- India, Nigeria, Pakistan, China and Democratic Republic of the Congo -- in part because of their very large populations.
The U.S. newborn mortality rate in 2009 was 4.3 deaths for every 1,000 live births, and a reported 19,170 newborns died in the U.S. that year. In global rankings, the U.S. newborn mortality rate placed 41 out of the 194 countries, below Malaysia, Cuba and the Czech Republic, among others.
View the slide show to find out which countries ranked best and worst for newborn mortality rates. We've included only countries with a population over 1 million.