ONS report shows neonatal mortality rate remains high in England and Wales
A summary of the Office of National Statistics (ONS) findings based on the most recent data from 2019 found:
- a total of 2,390 infant deaths (aged <1 year) occurred in England and Wales in 2019. This is the lowest number of deaths on record but is not unexpected given the falling birth rate
- in 2019, the infant mortality rate was 3.7 deaths per 1,000 live births in England and Wales; while this follows a general decline since 1980, over the last five years the infant mortality rate has remained fairly stable
- the neonatal mortality rate (aged under 28 days) was 2.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in England and Wales in 2019; this rate has remained the same since 2017
- the increase in the proportion of live births under 24 weeks' completed gestation has contributed to an increase in the neonatal mortality rate from 2.5 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2014 to 2.8 in 2019.
Statistician Gemma Quayle, of ONS says: “Despite a decrease in the number of infant deaths in England and Wales in 2019, over the last five years the infant mortality rate has remained fairly stable. And for the third consecutive year, the neonatal mortality rate has not changed.
“Infant mortality is affected by a combination of risk factors such as gestation length and mother's age, which can have an impact on the health of mothers and their babies. The ONS analysis shows that a continued increase in babies born under 24 weeks in 2019 has continued to affect the overall neonatal and infant mortality rates. Understanding how these factors affect trends in infant mortality is important for policymakers and health practitioners to target interventions and monitor progress against the government ambition in England to halve 2010's stillbirth and neonatal mortality rates by 2025.”
Read the report at: