New Year’s Babies: Babies born in Ireland in 2019 can expect to live to 2101 – UNICEF  

1st January 2019
PRESS RELEASE

EMBARGOED until 00.01am GMT 1 January 2019

New Year’s Babies: Babies born in Ireland in 2019 can expect to live to 2101 – UNICEF  

As the calendar turns to 2019, an estimated 175 babies will be born on 1 January 2019

UNICEF Ireland Executive Director Peter Power is available for interview

NEW YORK/DUBLIN, 1 January 2019 – Babies born in Ireland in 2019 can expect to live to 2101, UNICEF said today, making Ireland one of only 28 countries worldwide where 2019 babies will likely live until the 22nd century.

Over the past three decades, the world has seen remarkable progress in child survival, cutting the number of children worldwide who die before their fifth birthday by more than half. However, there has been slower progress for newborns. Babies dying in the first month account for 47 per cent of all deaths among children under five. In 2017, about 1 million babies died the day they were born, and 2.5 million in just their first month of life.

UNICEF Ireland Executive Director Peter Power said “At current life expectancy rates, a child born in Ireland in January 2019 is likely to live until the 22nd century. Unfortunately, nearly half of all children born this year around the world likely won’t have the same positive future. A child born in Ireland in January 2019 is most likely to live to 2101, while a child from Somalia would be unlikely to live beyond 2077.”

In Ireland, an estimated 175 babies will be born on 1 January 2019, a tiny fraction of the 395,072 babies estimated to be born around the world on New Year’s Day.

UNICEF’s Every Child Alive campaign calls for immediate investment to deliver affordable, quality health care solutions for every mother and newborn. These include a steady supply of clean water and electricity at health facilities, the presence of a skilled health attendant during birth, ample supplies and medicines to prevent and treat complications during pregnancy, delivery and birth, and empowered adolescent girls and women who can demand better quality of health services.

“This New Year Day, let’s all make a resolution to fulfill every right of every child, starting with the right to survive,” said Peter Power. “We can save millions of babies if we invest in training and equipping local health workers so that every newborn is born into a safe pair of hands.”

Around the world on January 1, families will welcome countless Alexanders and Ayeshas, Zhengs and Zainabs. But in several countries, many babies will not even be named as they won’t make it past their first day. Among those children, most died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis and pneumonia, a violation of their basic right to survival.

2019 also marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which UNICEF will be commemorating with worldwide events throughout the year. Under the convention, governments committed to, among other things, taking measures to save every child by providing good quality health care.

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Notes to Editors

For complete un-rounded estimates on births and life expectancy for 190 countries, click here. For top ten baby names across 20 countries and number of births across 26 cities, click here. For the data, UNICEF worked with the World Data Lab.

The estimates for the number of babies born draw on the period indicators and the life tables of the UN’s World Population Prospects (2017). Building on these datasets, World Data Lab’s (WDL) algorithm projects the number of births for each day by country and their corresponding life expectancy. Similar methods were applied to compute the number of babies born in specific US and international cities. Other data sources include UN Data, different US governmental services, and national statistics across several countries.

To download photos to accompany this story, visit here.

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.ie

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For more information, please contact:

Danny Smits, UNICEF Ireland, +353 87 1308070, danny@unicef.ie

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