Infant and neonatal mortality
The infant mortality rate is the number of children that die under one year of age in a given year, per 1,000 live births. The neonatal mortality rate is the number of children that die under 28 days of age in a given year, per 1,000 live births. These are both common measures of health care quality, but they are also influenced by social, economic and environmental factors.
Conditions relating to premature birth, such as respiratory and cardiovascular disorders, and congenital abnormalities are common causes of infant deaths. The three major causes of neonatal deaths worldwide are infections, premature birth and suffocation.
Measures that reduce poverty and mitigate the impact of poverty on the health of women before and during pregnancy will have a significant impact on the risk of stillbirth and death during infancy. Policies that are directed at improving the health of pregnant women (such as stop smoking services) and early intervention services such as health visiting and midwifery are likely to reduce infant and neonatal mortality rates.
For more information see the recent International comparisons of health and wellbeing in early childhood report.
Note for ONS data:
Figures represent the number of deaths registered in the calendar year. Figures show the country where the death occurred, rather than where the deceased was resident. Rates are calculated using the most up-to-date population estimates when the statistics are published. For Northern Ireland, the infant and neonatal mortality rates represent the rate per 1,000 live births including non Northern Ireland resident births.
For more information about ONS data see Office for National Statistics, Vital Statistics.
Note for OECD data:
Differences between countries in legislation governing registration of births and deaths, and misclassification of stillbirths and neonatal deaths makes it difficult to compare mortality at these very early gestations. Despite the standard WHO definition of a live birth, not all countries calculate their mortality rates based this which makes comparison between countries challenging.
For more information about OECD data and indicators see OECD Health Statistics 2017, Definitions, Sources and Methods.