Exclusive breastfeeding (% of children under 6 months)

Definition: Exclusive breastfeeding refers to the percentage of children less than six months old who are fed breast milk alone (no other liquids) in the past 24 hours.

Description: The map below shows how Exclusive breastfeeding (% of children under 6 months) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Croatia, with a value of 98.13. The country with the lowest value in the world is Chad, with a value of 0.10.

Source: UNICEF, State of the World's Children, Childinfo, and Demographic and Health Surveys.

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Development Relevance: For optimal infant and young child feeding, mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth, breastfeed exclusively for the first six months, and continue to breastfeed for two years or more while providing nutritionally adequate, safe, and age-appropriate solid, semisolid, and soft foods. Breast milk alone contains all the nutrients, antibodies, hormones, and antioxidants an infant needs to thrive. It protects babies from diarrhea and acute respiratory infections, stimulates their immune systems and response to vaccination, and may confer cognitive benefits.

Limitations and Exceptions: Most of the data on breastfeeding are derived from household surveys. For the data that are from household surveys, the year refers to the survey year.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual