Updated 15 January with corrected figures
With the calendar flipping to 2021, UNICEF dedicates its 75th year to reimagining a better world for children
DUBLIN/NEW YORK, 1 January 2021 – An estimated 157 babies will be born in Ireland on New Year’s Day, according to UNICEF.
As the calendar turns to 2021, UNICEF is again celebrating the new lives being brought into the world on January 1. Fiji in the Pacific will welcome 2021’s first baby. The United States, its last. Globally, over half of these births are estimated to take place in 10 countries: India (59,995), China (35,615), Nigeria (21,439), Pakistan (14,161), Indonesia (12,336), Ethiopia (12,006), the United States (10,312), Egypt (9,455), Bangladesh (9,236), and Democratic Republic of the Congo (8,640)
Irish babies will account for only a tiny percentage (0.0004) per cent of the estimated 371,504 babies born on New Year’s Day. Their average life expectancy is just below 94 years, at 93.6 years.
“This has been a difficult year for all of us, and there is perhaps no better way to turn the page than to welcome new young lives into the world,” said UNICEF Ireland Executive Director Peter Power. “With the challenges of 2020 behind us, and the opportunities of 2021 before us, now is the time to begin to build a better world. Children born today will inherit the world we begin to build for them—today.”
2021 marks the 75th anniversary of UNICEF. Over the course of the year, UNICEF and its partners will be commemorating the anniversary with events and announcements celebrating three-quarters of a century of protecting children from conflict, disease and exclusion and championing their right to survival, health and education.
Today, as the world faces unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic, economic slowdown, rising poverty and inequality, we are reminded that the need for UNICEF’s work is as great as ever.
“There is no more appropriate year than this—the year of UNICEF’s 75th Anniversary—to renew our commitment to each other, and to the young lives who will inherit the world we leave,” said Mr Power. “2021 will be a critical year for children, but UNICEF’s three-quarters of a century of delivering results for children around the world are a testament to what we can accomplish together.”
Most popular baby names in countries with Irish ex-pat populations around the time of UNICEF’s creation*
Male / Female / Country
James / Mary / United States (1940s)
John / Margaret / Australia (1940)
John / Margaret / England and Wales (1944)
John / Mary / Canada Nova-Scotia (1945)
John / Margaret / Scotland (1950)
John / Christine / New Zealand (1954)
Notes to Editors
Correction: A previous version of the press release and accompanying factsheet contained data errors on life expectancy for some developed countries.
For complete revised estimates on births for 236 countries and territories, click here.
For the estimates, UNICEF used vital registration and nationally representative household survey data to estimate the monthly and daily fractions of births in countries. UNICEF used the annual live births numbers and period life expectancy from the latest revision of the UN’s World Population Prospects (2019) to estimate the babies born on 1 January 2021 and their cohort life expectancy.
*Data on baby names compiled by Dr. I. M. Nick of the American Name Society. Countries and territories included based on availability of statistical data compiled and released by regional or national governmental agencies – data for Ireland not available.
UNICEF works in the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 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 every child, visit our website Follow us on Twitter and Facebook
For more information, please contact: Aedín Donnelly, Communications and Media Manager for UNICEF Ireland, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mob: +353 85 1395272