Levels and Trends in Child Mortality: Report 2020

With the number of under-five deaths at an all-time recorded low of 5.2 million in 2019, disruptions in child and maternal health services due to the COVID-19 pandemic are putting millions of additional lives at stake. The number of global under-five deaths dropped to its lowest point on record in 2019 – down to 5.2 million from 12.5 million in 1990, according to new mortality estimates released by UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the World Bank Group. Children continue to face widespread regional disparities in their chances of survival. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the highest under-five mortality rate in the world. In 2019, the region had an average under-five mortality rate of 76 (71, 87) deaths per 1,000 live births. That is equivalent to 1 child in 13 dying before reaching age 5. This rate is 20 times higher than that of 1 in 264 in the region of Australia and New Zealand and two decades behind the world average, which achieved a 1 in 13 rate by 1999.