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Infant Mortality, Stillbirths and Maternal Mortality 2017

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Infant mortality

During the year 2017 there were 188 deaths of infants under one year, compared to 194 in 2016.  The infant mortality rate was 3.0 per 1,000 live births in 2017, no change from 2016.  See tables 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3.

Infant mortality rates in the EU-28

Malta and Romania jointly had the highest rate at 6.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2017, while Cyprus had the lowest rate at 1.3 per 1,000 live births. Of the EU28 countries, Ireland ranked 11th with a rate of 3.0.  See fig. 4.1.

CountryInfant mortality rate
Cyprus1.3
Finland2
Slovenia2.1
Estonia2.3
Sweden2.4
Czech Republic2.7
Spain2.7
Italy2.7
Portugal2.7
Austria2.9
Ireland3
Lithuania3
Luxembourg3.2
Germany3.3
Greece3.5
Hungary3.5
Belgium3.6
Netherlands3.6
Denmark3.8
France3.9
United Kingdom3.9
Croatia4
Poland4
Latvia4.1
Slovakia4.5
Bulgaria6.4
Malta6.7
Romania6.7

Infant Mortality by detailed age

Almost a third (32.4%) of all infant deaths occurred within the first day of birth and 54.3% occurred within the first week.  See table 4.5.

There were 140 neonatal deaths (deaths of infants under 4 weeks) in 2017, a decrease of 7 on the 2016 figure.  The neonatal mortality rate of 2.3 per 1,000 live births remains unchanged from 2016.  See tables 4.2, 4.3, 4.8 and fig. 4.2.

Infant Mortality by cause

Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period accounted for 46.8% of infant deaths in 2017.  Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities accounted for a further 40.4% while sudden infant death syndrome accounted for 8.5% of such deaths.  See table 4.8.

For infant deaths occurring in the first day of life, the causes of death were split between certain conditions originating in the perinatal period (57.4%), and congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities (42.6%).  See table 4.8

South Tipperary had the highest rate for infant mortality in 2017 (8 infant deaths) with a rate of 7.3 per 1,000 births.  See table 4.3.

Stillbirths

The number of stillbirths in 2017 was 162, a decrease of 11 on the 2016 total of 173.  The corresponding rate decrease was 0.1 down from 2.7 in 2016 to 2.6 in 2017.  See tables 4.1, 4.2 and fig. 4.3.

YearInfantNeonatalPost neonatal
197615.710.55.2
197715.59.95.6
197814.99.85
197912.88.44.4
198011.16.74.4
198110.36.53.8
198210.56.63.9
198310.16.14
19849.663.7
19858.85.33.6
19868.953.9
19877.94.33.6
19888.65.23.4
19898.14.83.3
19908.24.83.4
19917.652.6
19926.54.32.2
19936.142.1
19945.741.7
19956.44.81.6
199664.11.9
19976.13.52.6
19985.93.41.6
19995.941.8
20006.24.31.9
20015.741.7
200253.61.5
20035.33.81.5
20044.63.41.3
20053.82.71.1
20063.92.71.2
20073.22.21
20083.82.71.1
20093.32.21
20103.62.61
20113.52.51
20123.32.60.7
20133.62.60.9
20143.32.31
20153.42.70.8
201632.30.7
201732.30.8
YearPerinatalStillbirth
20076.24.4
20086.03.9
20095.73.9
20105.73.6
20114.82.8
20124.62.6
20135.02.7
20144.22.4
20155.13.0
20164.52.7
20174.32.6
YearPerinatalStillbirth
20076.24.4
20086.03.9
20095.73.9
20105.73.6
20114.82.8
20124.62.6
20135.02.7
20144.22.4
20155.13.0
20164.52.7
20174.32.6

For stillbirths, the highest rate per 1,000 live and stillbirths was in South Tipperary (6.3).  There were no registered stillbirths for Kerry, Waterford City or Galway City in 2017. See table 4.3.

In 2017, stillbirths classified as being due to certain conditions originating in the perinatal period accounted for 79.6% of all registered stillbirths and 20.4% were due to congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities. See table 4.12a.

While statistics of infant mortality are obtained in the course of the usual procedure for registration of deaths, which has been in operation since 1863, particulars of late foetal mortality have been obtained through a scheme of notification to the Directors of Community Care.  The scheme of notifying late foetal deaths was introduced in 1957, but comparisons between different areas of the country showed marked differences in the coverage of the scheme in the early years.  Consequently, the number of late foetal deaths in the early years of the scheme is believed to be understated.

In 1995 stillbirths were registered in Ireland for the first time under the Stillbirths Registration Act, 1994.  The definition of a stillbirth under the Act is broader than the definition used for late foetal deaths in previous Vital Statistics Reports.  Care should be taken in comparing statistics on stillbirths and late foetal deaths in consideration of the changes between the notification and registration systems.

The National Perinatal Reporting System (NPRS) (http://www.hpo.ie/,HIPE and NPRS Reports, Perinatal Statistics Reports).  Perinatal Statistics Reports also produces statistics on stillbirths, which can be compared to the numbers in these reports.  The NPRS figures are derived from birth notification forms, whereas the figures contained in this report are derived from stillbirths registered.  In recent years, the numbers of stillbirths according to NPRS reports have been higher than the numbers published in these reports.  This suggests that there is considerable non-registration of stillbirths and that caution should be taken in interpreting the statistics on stillbirths in these reports.

Pregnancy, childbirth and puerperium

There was 1 maternal death in 2017, giving a rate of 1.6 maternal deaths per 100,000 live and stillbirths.  See table 4.19.

YearMaternal death rate
1945263.2
1946240
1947214.6
1948188.1
1949201.1
1950155.7
1951163.8
1952142.3
1953132.7
1954110.3
1955113.6
195685.6
1957132.3
1958102.5
195964.8
196057.6
196145.1
196243.7
196334.8
196446.8
196528.3
196628.9
196722.8
196836.1
196931.8
197031.1
197125.2
197240.9
197311.6
197421.8
19757.4
197616.4
197711.6
197817.1
19799.6
19806.8
19814.2
19825.6
198311.9
19846.2
19856.4
19864.9
19873.4
19881.8
19893.8
19903.8
19915.7
19923.9
19932
19942.1
19950
19965.9
19975.7
19983.7
19991.9
20001.8
20015.2
20028.3
20030
20041.6
20051.6
20060
20072.8
20084
20094
20101.3
20112.7
20122.8
20134.4
20141.5
20151.5
20166.2
20171.6
YearMaternal death rate
1945263.2
1946240
1947214.6
1948188.1
1949201.1
1950155.7
1951163.8
1952142.3
1953132.7
1954110.3
1955113.6
195685.6
1957132.3
1958102.5
195964.8
196057.6
196145.1
196243.7
196334.8
196446.8
196528.3
196628.9
196722.8
196836.1
196931.8
197031.1
197125.2
197240.9
197311.6
197421.8
19757.4
197616.4
197711.6
197817.1
19799.6
19806.8
19814.2
19825.6
198311.9
19846.2
19856.4
19864.9
19873.4
19881.8
19893.8
19903.8
19915.7
19923.9
19932
19942.1
19950
19965.9
19975.7
19983.7
19991.9
20001.8
20015.2
20028.3
20030
20041.6
20051.6
20060
20072.8
20084
20094
20101.3
20112.7
20122.8
20134.4
20141.5
20151.5
20166.2
20171.6

For definitions on the terms used in this chapter, see link to technical notes:

 Infant mortality, stillbirths and maternal mortality.

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Show Table: Table 4.1 Live births, stillbirths and infant mortality, 2006 to 2017

Show Table: Table 4.2 Live birth, stillbirth and infant mortality rates, 2001 to 2017

Show Table: Table 4.3 Stillbirths and infant mortality 2017 per 1,000 live births

Show Table: Table 4.4 Infant mortality rates per 1,000 live births by detailed age, 1941 to 2017

Show Table: Table 4.5 Infant deaths during 2017 by detailed age

Show Table: Table 4.6 Infant mortality rates in Ireland and neighbouring countries, 1941-2017

Show Table: Table 4.7 Stillbirth and perinatal mortality rates in Ireland and neighbouring countries, 1998-2017

Show Table: Table 4.8 Infant mortality - deaths under 1 year in 2017, classified by sex, age and cause

Show Table: Table 4.9 Infant mortality - deaths under 1 year in 2017, classified by age under 4 weeks, age 4 weeks to one year, sex and cause, assigned to each province

Show Table: Table 4.10 Infant mortality - deaths under 1 year in 2017, classified by sex and cause, assigned to each regional authority

Show Table: Table 4.11 Infant mortality - deaths under 1 year in 2017, classified by age-group and cause, assigned to each regional authority

Show Table: Table 4.12a Stillbirths in 2017, classified by sex and cause, and with mention of affecting maternal factors

Show Table: Table 4.12b Stillbirths in 2017, classified by maternal factors

Show Table: Table 4.13 Stillbirths in 2017, classified by age of mother, sex of child and period of gestation

Show Table: Table 4.14 Stillbirths in 2017, classified by age of mother and number of previous live and stillborn children

Show Table: Table 4.15 Stillbirths in 2017, classified by cause and period of gestation

Show Table: Table 4.16 Stillbirths in 2017, classified by cause and number of previous children

Show Table: Table 4.17 Stillbirths in 2017, classified by cause and age of mother at maternity

Show Table: Table 4.18 Stillbirths in 2017, classified by cause and birthweight

Show Table: Table 4.19 Maternal deaths per 100,000 total live and stillbirths, 1997 - 2017

Go to next chapter >>> Appendix