Infant Mortality Rates in the UK

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Infant Mortality Rate in the UK.

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.


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Recent Headlines about rising UK Infant Mortality Rates include:

  • Rise in UK Infant Mortality Rates ‘Significantly Associated’ with Increase in Child Poverty
  • Child Deaths Are Increasing In England, And Poverty Is To Blame

There can be various reasons for a slight change over a short period. Poverty has been mentioned, so has the higher number of immigrants, with a higher rate of health issues from some groups.

One report mentions that child poverty has probably caused the equivalent of an extra 172 infant deaths. About a third of the total excess.

That leaves about 350 more.  According to UNHCR statistics, at the end of 2017 there were about 160,000 refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.

Could some of these have health issues different to the UK, and cause an extra 350 infant deaths, during that period. Is it possible that Child Poverty is also a major part of refugees and asylum seekers.


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Infant Mortality Statistics.

The news reports are showing figures over a four year period, 2013 to 2017, while the figures below show them over 27 years from 1990.

An example of a four year spread, showing how there can be ups and downs, over a short period:

Wales in 2003 was 4.1
Wales in 2007 was 5.3 up 29.27% in four years.
Wales in 2011 was 3.9 down 26.42% in four years.
Wales in 2015 was 3.7 down 5.13% in four years.
But overall down 9.76% in twelve years.

Between 1990 and 2017, the infant mortality rate decreased considerably in all UK countries.

  • England has decreased, from 7.9 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 4.0 in 2017. A 49.37% decrease.
  • Scotland has decreased, from 7.7 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 3.3 in 2017. A 57.14% decrease.
  • Wales has decreased, from 6.9 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 3.4 in 2017. A 50.72% decrease.
  • Northern Ireland has decreased, from 7.5 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 3.8 in 2017. A 49.33% decrease.

Wales – Infant Mortality Rate

1990 – 6.9
2000 – 5.2
2010 – 4.0
2013 – 3.6
2016 – 3.1
2017 – 3.4

England – Infant Mortality Rate

1990 – 7.9
2000 – 5.6
2010 – 4.3
2013 – 3.9
2016 – 3.9
2017 – 4.0

Northern Ireland – Infant Mortality Rate

1990 – 7.5
2000 – 5.0
2010 – 5.7
2013 – 4.6
2016 – 4.6
2017 – 3.8

Scotland – Infant Mortality Rate

1990 – 7.7
2000 – 5.7
2010 – 3.7
2013 – 3.3
2016 – 3.3
2017 – 3.3

Data Source: www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/…/infant-and-neonatal-mortality


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