Chapter 3 Additional World Health Assembly Nutrition Indicators

3.2 PREVALENCE OF EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING DURING THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF LIFE

From 2012 to 2021, the global prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding of infants for their first six months of life increased from 37 percent to 47.7 percent (TABLE 12). Data are not available for the ECA region as a whole because less than 50 percent of the population is covered, and the same is true for some subregions. The ECA subregions of Central Asia and the Western Balkans made progress in exclusive breastfeeding during this period, though the prevalence remains below the global estimate. From 2012 to 2021, the prevalence significantly increased in Central Asia (from 29.2 percent to 44.9 percent) and the Western Balkans (from 20.7 percent to 27.0 percent) but declined slightly in the rest of the ECA subregions for which data are available (from 41.6 percent to 40.7 percent).

FIGURE 18

Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding among infants 0-5 months of age by subregion

NOTE: Some values are not calculated for Europe and Central Asia, the Caucasus, CIS Europe and Ukraine, and the EU-27 and the United Kingdom due to low country and population coverage.
SOURCE: Adapted from UNICEF. 2022. Infant and young child feeding. In: UNICEF. [Cited 6 April 2023].
https://data.unicef.org/topic/nutrition/infant-and-young-child-feeding/
Download: https://doi.org/10.4060/CC8608EN-fig18
TABLE 12.

Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding among infants 0-5 months of age by subregion, percent

20122021
WORLD37.047.7
Europe and Central Asian.a.n.a.
Caucasus22.9n.a.
Central Asia29.244.9
CIS Europe and Ukrainen.a.n.a.
EFTA countriesn.a.n.a.
EU-27 and the United Kingdomn.a.n.a.
Other41.640.7
Western Balkans20.727.0
NOTE: Some values are not calculated for Europe and Central Asia, the Caucasus, CIS Europe and Ukraine, and the EU-27 and the United Kingdom due to low country and population coverage.
SOURCE: Adapted from UNICEF. 2022. Infant and young child feeding. In: UNICEF [Cited 6 April 2023]. https://data.unicef.org/topic/nutrition/infant-and-young-child-feeding/

FIGURE 19 compares the levels of the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding of infants 0-5 months of age in ECA countries between the first year for which data are available and the last year for which data are available. The years differ from country to country. The prevalence increased in most countries with available data, except for the Republic of Moldova. The largest increase is found in Turkmenistan (from 12.1 percent in 2000 to 56.5 percent in 2019), where the prevalence is also the highest in the region. Other countries in Central Asia, along with Albania, Armenia, Türkiye and Ukraine, also have seen significant increases in the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding among infants 0-5 months of age. The lowest prevalence shown in FIGURE 19 (12.1 percent) was in Azerbaijan, although the estimate is from ten years ago.

FIGURE 19

Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding among infants 0-5 months of age by country and subregion

NOTE: Some values are not calculated for Europe and Central Asia, the Caucasus, CIS Europe and Ukraine, and the EU-27 and the United Kingdom due to low country and population coverage.
SOURCE: Adapted from UNICEF. 2022. Infant and young child feeding. In: UNICEF. [Cited 6 April 2023]. https://data.unicef.org/topic/nutrition/infant-and-young-child-feeding/
Download: https://doi.org/10.4060/CC8608EN-fig19