Infant Mortality Rate in Post-Communist Countries—Progress Varies 25 Years after Communism

Simeon Djankov (PIIE) and Owen Hauck (PIIE)
February 10, 2016

A little more than 25 years after the fall of communism, post-communist states have achieved divergent results in their qualities of life

This chart, part of an upcoming study by Simeon Djankov and Owen Hauck, shows former Soviet states continue to lag behind Eastern Europe and the Balkan states in infant mortality rates.1 Turkmenistan, a former Soviet state, has the highest infant mortality rate of the 29 countries that compose the three groups, at 51 per 1,000 live births. Slovenia, a nation of just over 2 million (Eastern Europe group) has an infant mortality rate of 2.6, less than half that of the United States (6) and on par with many Scandinavian states.

The study on the experiences of post-communist economies will explore why and how these divergences have developed.


1. The Balkans group is comprised of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Albania. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is included in the Balkans group from 1989 until 2007, at which point it becomes separately Serbia and Montenegro. Former Sovietstates include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Eastern Europe includes Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia (from 1989 to 1992) and separately Slovakia and the Czech Republic from 1992 to 2013.