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International analysis of child mortality, 02/05/14 [E/NI/S/W]

The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation has published an analysis of global, regional, and national levels of neonatal, infant, and under-5 mortality during 19902013 which found that children in the UK are more likely to die before they reach their fifth birthday than in any other western European country except Malta.

The UK death rate of 4.9 per 1,000 live births is double that of Iceland, the best in Europe, which has 2.4 deaths per 1,000. Almost five in every 1,000 children born in the UK die before the age of five, a rate the authors of the global study said was surprising for a country with free, universal healthcare. A total of 3,000 children in the UK died before their first birthday in 2012. Experts said that poverty and deprivation in the UK, together with cuts in welfare were directly linked to the deaths of the youngest children. Babies who die under the age of one tend to be from deprived households, have a low birthweight and have parents who smoked. Between the ages of one and five, deaths are mostly linked to injuries, accidents and serious diseases such as cancer.

Further Information

International analysis of child mortality