Globally in 2021, 2.3 million babies died during their first month of life and 1.9 million babies were stillborn.

This page provides the latest global, country, and regional estimates related to newborn survival. The information supports government, program managers, policymakers, and stakeholders in planning for newborn health policy and implementation. For questions or information not found on this resource page, please contact us.

All data on this page represents the most recent data available (as of December 2023). Please download the Excel spreadsheet below to explore the data further. 



Quick Facts


Babies die during the first month of their life


Die on their birth day


percentage of under 5 deaths that are newborns


Three main causes of death —prematurity, complications during childbirth, and severe infections — account for 75 percent of newborn deaths. Preterm birth complications and lower respiratory infections together account for nearly one-third of all under-5 child deaths.

Main causes of newborn mortality globally (2021)
Estimates for causes of death 2000-2019 generated by the WHO and Maternal and Child Epidemiology Estimation Group (MCEE) 2022 and downloaded from


The day a baby is born is the most dangerous day of a child’s life in all countries, rich and poor. About 1 million children die each year on the day they are born, representing 15 percent of all deaths among under-5 children each year. In 2021, nearly half of all deaths before age 5 occurred in the first 28 days of life (the neonatal period).

Data and evidence shows that if nations are committed to accelerate progress in reducing child mortality, they must concentrate more attention and resources around delivering quality care at the time of birth and during the critical days and weeks after birth. Care at birth brings a quadruple return on investment: preventing maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths, and improving child development and morbidity outcomes. Nearly half of births in low-income countries occur without a skilled attendant, and even fewer mothers and babies have postnatal contact with providers who can deliver interventions that save lives. Learn more about deaths on the first day of life.


Die on their birth day representing


of all deaths among under-5 children each year


Morbidity and mortality still vary greatly depending on where a baby is born. Over 90 percent of newborn deaths occur in Africa and Asia combined, while the risk for babies born in low-income countries is 11 times the risk of death for babies during the first month of life in high-income countries.


Over the last two decades, the world made substantial progress in reducing mortality among children under age 5. Yet newborn mortality has declined at a slower pace than that of post-neonatal under-five mortality (children aged 1-59 months), down only 52 percent compared with 59 percent globally in 2021. The risk of child death is highest in the first month of life at an average rate of 18 deaths per 1,000 live births globally in 2021. As a result, the proportion of newborn deaths among all under-5 deaths is 47 percent, up from 40 percent in 1990. Newborn deaths have decreased from 5 million in 1990 to 2.3 million in 2021.


Over two-thirds of newborn deaths could be prevented through the high coverage of cost-effective, low-tech maternal and newborn health interventions. Evidence-based strategies to save the lives of women and babies include a menu of interventions that are usually provided through integrated service delivery packages at different levels along the continuum of care, from pre-pregnancy, through pregnancy and birth, as well as postnatal care. National coverage data is available for some service delivery packages (e.g., antenatal care, skilled attendance) and for a few specific interventions that have been a focus for a longer time, such as tetanus toxoid immunization. Other high-impact neonatal interventions with recent attention, such as kangaroo mother care and neonatal resuscitation, have no national data available.


The Mother and Newborn Information for Tracking Outcomes and Results (MONITOR) technical advisory group acts as an advisory body to the World Health Organization on matters of measurement, metrics and monitoring of maternal and newborn health for the Departments of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MCA) and Reproductive Health and Research (RHR).

WHO Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Data Portal compiles data on demographics, mortality, morbidity, risk factors, coverage and policy on maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health. Key features include access to the data for each indicator, visualization of indicators; country profiles and other static visualizations and information on advisory groups, including on measurement of maternal and newborn (MoNITOR), child (CHAT), and adolescent health (GAMA) and quality of care of maternal and newborn health metrics.

Child Mortality Estimates

Child Mortality Estimates (CME Info) is a database containing the latest child mortality estimates based on the research of the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation. Raw data inputs for country neonatal mortality estimates can be downloaded here, including latest estimates, trend data, and methodology for neonatal mortality.

Demographic and Health Surveys

The USAID-funded DHS program provides technical assistance to countries to conduct surveys on population, health, HIV, and nutrition, advancing global understanding of health and population trends in developing countries. Reports, survey questionnaires, and related materials are available for downloading. The DHS website also includes STATcompiler, which provides quick facts and country comparisons, allowing users to build customized tables from hundreds of DHS surveys and indicators.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is based in the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. IHME works to advance modeling methods for global health issues including mortality and health financing, among others. It also coordinates work for the Global Burden of Disease studies.

Guttmacher International Data Center

The Guttmacher International Data Center allows users to create tables and maps with the most current data available from 75 countries and 22 world regions. The Data Center is an easy to use tool for finding information on abortion, pregnancy, services and financing, adolescents, and contraception.

JOGH: Measuring coverage of essential maternal and newborn care interventions: An unfinished agenda

The December 2017 collection in the Journal of Global Health assesses the gaps and quality of available data on newborn health. The collection, comprising of an editorial and 10 academic papers, reveals the urgent need to strengthen the collection of data on newborn care, particularly on aspects related to quality of care.

The State of the World’s Children

Each year, The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF’s flagship publication, closely examines a key issue affecting children. The report includes supporting data and statistics that can be downloaded and is also available in French and Spanish. Childinfo contains UNICEF’s statistical information, including data used in UNICEF’s publications, The State of the World’s Children and Progress for Children. In addition, Childinfo holds technical resources for conducting UNICEF-supported Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), a major source of global development data.

Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey: UNICEF assists countries in collecting and analyzing data in order to fill data gaps for monitoring the situation of children and women through its international household survey initiative the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS).

The Lancet Every Newborn Series

This series of papers, published in May 2014 in The Lancet, presents the clearest picture to date of progress and challenges in improving newborn survival around the world. The series sets targets that must be achieved by 2030 in order to ensure every newborn has a healthy start.

State of the World’s Mothers

In 2015, Save the Children released its sixteenth State of the World’s Mothers report, highlighting newborn health –  which countries are doing the best and which are doing the worst at preventing newborn deaths. The report includes the Birth Day Risk Index and the renowned Mothers Index. You can download the full report in English; the executive summary is available in multiple languages.

A decade of change for newborn survival (2000-2010): a multi country analysis of progress towards scale

The supplement, “A decade of change for newborn survival (2000–2010): a multi-country analysis of progress towards scale,” published in Health Policy and Planning, presents a comprehensive analysis of the changes in newborn care and survival from 2000 to 2010 and five detailed country case studies on the process of taking solutions to scale to accelerate progress for reduction of mortality and morbidity. It was coordinated by Save the Children’s Saving Newborn Lives program in collaboration with over 150 contributors.

The UNICEF Report on the global burden of stillbirths

In 2023, Never Forgotten: The situation of stillbirth around the globe, was released, updating the first-ever stillbirth report released by the UN Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN-IGME). It is a critical document, highlighting the importance of data globally and driving political and public recognition of the issue. The report finds that despite progress being made since 2000, stillbirths have not declined as rapidly as maternal and newborn mortality, and if current trends continue, an additional 13.2 million stillbirths will take place before 2030.

Countdown to 2030

Countdown is a collaboration of academics from global, regional, country institutions, UN agencies and World Bank and civil society organizations, to track progress of life-saving interventions for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH+N). Countdown generates evidence to foster advocacy and accountability for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health. In 2016, the Countdown to 2030 Initiative adapted its strategies and approaches to align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and particularly the Global Strategy for Women’s Children’s and Adolescents’ Health 2016-2030.

The Global Health Observatory

The GHO data repository is WHO’s gateway to health-related statistics for its 194 Member States. It provides access to over 1000 indicators on priority health topics including mortality and burden of diseases, the Sustainable Development Goals, non communicable diseases and risk factors, epidemic-prone diseases, health systems, environmental health, violence and injuries, equity among others.