Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Levels and trends in child mortality report 2017

Estimates Developed by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation

UNICEF, WHO, World Bank, UN-DESA Population Division

Book cover image.

Publication details

Number of pages: 40
Publication date: 2017
Languages: English



Every year, millions of children under 5 years of age die, mostly from preventable causes such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria. In almost half of the cases, malnutrition plays a role, while unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene are also significant contributing factors. For this reason, child mortality is a key indicator not only for child health and well-being, but for overall progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The world has made substantial progress in reducing child mortality in the past several decades. The total number of under-five deaths dropped to 5.6 million in 2016 from 12.6 million in 1990 – 15 000 every day compared with 35 000 in 1990.

Globally, 2.6 million newborns died in 2016 – or 7000 every day. Neonatal deaths accounted for 46% of all under-five deaths, increasing from 41% in 2000.

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