Situation and trends
The proportion of under-five deaths that occur within the first month of life (the neonatal period) has increased from 36% in 1990 to 43% in 2011. More than 30% of neonatal deaths occur in India. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest risk of death in the first month of life and is among the regions showing the least progress.
In 2011, nearly 3 million deaths (43% of all under-five deaths) occurred during the first month of life and almost 5 million (72% of all under-five deaths) within the first year of life.
The risk of a child dying before completing the first year of age was highest in the WHO African region (68 per 1000 live births), about six times higher than that in the WHO European region (11 per 1000 live births).
Globally, the infant mortality rate has decreased from an estimated rate of 61 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990 to 37 deaths per 1000 live births in 2011. Annual infant deaths have declined from 8.4 million in 1990 to 5 million in 2011.