Child death rates on the rise in England. 2023. https//

National Child Mortality Database. Child Death Review Data Release: Year ending 31 March 2023. 2023. https//

Poverty could be behind rise in infant and child mortality rates

02 December 2023
Volume 4 · Issue 6


Deaths in children in England are on the rise according to new data from the National Child Mortality Database. Poverty could be one of the major factors behind this increase. Dorothy Lepkowska explains

New figures show that there were 3 743 deaths in children in the year ending March 2023 – up from 3 452 the previous year, with experts citing poverty as a major factor.

Estimates for England suggest that deaths were highest for children of Black or Black British ethnicity, as well as youngsters living in poor and disadvantaged areas.

The figures come from the National Child Mortality Database (NCMD, 2023), a collaboration of universities, as well as health and bereavement organisations, and show the steepest rise in child mortality was for under-5-year-olds. Research is continuing to try to establish the reason for this phenomenon.

The NCMD includes data from reviews of all children who die at any time after birth and before their 18th birthday and was set up in 2019.

For 2023, it estimated that:

While death rates continued to rise for children of Black and Black British ethnicities, the death rate for children of White ethnicity was similar to the previous year. For infants (under 1 year of age) the report shows:

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