Infant mortality


Infant mortality refers to the number of deaths within the first year of life and is an indicator of the general health of an entire population. It reflects the relationship between causes of infant mortality and upstream determinants of population health such as economic, social and environmental conditions. Deaths occurring during the first 28 days of life (the neonatal period) in particular, are considered to reflect the health and care of both mother and new-born.

Reducing infant mortality overall and the gap between the richest and poorest groups are part of the Government's strategy for public health (Health Lives, Healthy People: Our Strategy for Public Health November 2010).

Infant mortality is usually expressed as the number of deaths in children under the age of one year per 1,000 live births (known as the infant mortality rate).

Key findings

  • The most recent published figures (2020-22) show that Lancashire-12 area's (3.9) infant mortality rate [i] is similar to the England rate (3.9). Blackburn with Darwen's (5.4) and Blackpool's (5.9) infant mortality rate is also similar to the England rate.
  • In the three years between 2020 and 2022 there were 140 infant deaths in the Lancashire-12 area.
  • In ten Lancashire-12 districts the infant mortality rate is similar to the England rate (2020-22).
  • Pendle's infant mortality rate (6.5) is significantly worse than the England rate (2020-22).
  • In the Lancashire-12 area (2.5), the 2019-21 neonatal mortality rate (number of deaths under 28 days, per 1,000 live births) is similar to the England rate (2.8). Blackburn with Darwen's (3.1) and Blackpool's (4.0) neonatal mortality rate is also similar to the England rate.

[i]  This infant mortality indicator is based on the year in which the death was registered.

Monitoring infant deaths remains a priority and the 2019-20 Child Death Overview Panel annual report provides information on trends and patterns in the deaths reviewed in the last reporting year (2019-20) and on all deaths since the panel began in 2008, across the Lancashire-14 area. 

The safer sleep for baby campaign aims to raise awareness of safer sleeping for babies and focuses on six easy steps for parents/carers to follow to make sleep safer, and potentially reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (cot death).

For further information OHID's Mortality section presents data on deaths during pregnancy and childhood and includes infant mortality and stillbirths profiles.

For county data and further information please see below.

Page updated February 2024