Global Health Observatory (GHO) data

Under-five mortality


5.6 million children under age five died in 2016, 15 000 every day.

The risk of a child dying before completing five years of age is still highest in the WHO African Region (76.5 per 1000 live births), almost 8 times higher than that in the WHO European Region (9.6 per 1000 live births). Many countries still have very high under-five mortality – particularly those in WHO African Region, home to 5 of the 6 countries with an under-five mortality rate above 100 deaths per 1000 live births. In addition, inequities in child mortality between high-income and low-income countries remain large. In 2016, the under-five mortality rate in low-income countries was 73.1 deaths per 1000 live births – almost 14 times the average rate in high-income countries (5.3 deaths per 1000 live births). Reducing these inequities across countries and saving more children’s lives by ending preventable child deaths are important priorities.


Globally, under-five mortality rate has decreased by 56%, from an estimated rate of 93 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990 to 41 deaths per 1000 live births in 2016. About 20 000 fewer children died every day in 2016 than in 1990.

With the end of the MDG era, the international community agreedon a new framework – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where the target is to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age. The goal is for all countries aiming reduce under-five mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1000 live births. Currently, 79 countries have an under-five mortality rate above 25.