European Infant mortality sharply declined over the past decades

In the EU in 2019, around 14 100 children died before reaching one year of age. This is equivalent to an infant mortality rate of 3.4 deaths per 1 000 live births.

Over the last decade, the infant mortality rate in the EU fell from 4.2 deaths per 1 000 live births in 2009 to 3.4 deaths per 1 000 live births in 2019. Compared with 1961, the infant mortality rate reduced dramatically: from 38.2 deaths per 1 000 live births.

In 2019, the highest infant mortality rates in the EU were registered in Malta (6.7 deaths per 1 000 live births), Romania (5.8) and Bulgaria (5.6). In contrast, the lowest rate was recorded in Estonia (1.6 deaths), followed by Slovenia, Finland and Sweden (all 2.1 deaths per 1 000 live births).

Compared with 1961, the infant mortality decreased in all EU Member States* with the largest decreases recorded in Portugal (from 88.8 deaths per 1 000 live births in 1961 to 2.8 in 2019), Romania (from 71.4 in 1961 to 5.8 in 2019) and Croatia (from 62.9 in 1961 to 4.0 in 2019).

* France: 1961 data not available

For more information:

www.ec.europa.eu/eurostat/