Key facts on children’s health
• In 2019 an estimated 5.2 million children under 5 years died mostly from preventable and treatable causes.
• Children aged 1 to 11 months accounted for 1.5 million of these deaths while children aged 1 to 4 years accounted for 1.3 million deaths. Newborns (under 28 days) accounted for the remaining 2.4 million deaths.
• An additional 500,000 older children (5 to 9 years) died in 2019.
• Leading causes of death in children under-5 years are preterm birth complications, birth asphyxia/trauma, pneumonia, congenital anomalies, diarrhoea and malaria, all of which can be prevented or treated with access to simple, affordable interventions including immunization, adequate nutrition, safe water and food and quality care by a trained health provider when needed.
• Older children (5-9 years) had one of the largest declines in mortality since 1990 (61%), due to a decline in infectious diseases. Injuries (including road traffic injuries and drowning) are the leading causes of death among older children.
Additional data on children under the age of 5
• Substantial global progress has been made in reducing child deaths since 1990.
• The total number of under-5 deaths worldwide has declined from 12.6 million in 1990 to 5.2 million in 2019.
• Since 1990, the global under-5 mortality rate has dropped by 59%, from 93 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 38 in 2019.
• This is equivalent to 1 in 11 children dying before reaching age 5 in 1990, compared to 1 in 27 in 2019.