While global data remain sparse and non-representative, the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) has collected national and sub-national data to assess global trends in child mortality from more than 110 countries or areas for 2020 and over 80 countries or areas for 2021. The report provides estimates of under-five, infant, and neonatal mortality rates in 2021, as well as estimates for youth aged 15-24 years.


  • The first 28 days of life remain the most vulnerable period for child survival. In 2021, approximately 2.3 million children died during the first month of life.
  • Renewed focus is needed to address mortality among children aged 1–59-months, a distinct period from the neonatal stage in terms of vulnerability to certain causes of death and responsiveness to interventions. Children in this age group accounted for 2.7 million of 2021’s under-five deaths.
  • Reaching the goal of ensuring all children survive to healthy adulthoods also requires investment in and expansion of data collection systems required to monitor mortality in the future. Quality data is vital to monitoring the survival of children from the neonatal period into early adulthood.

How to Use

This report serves as a call for immediate action and attention to reach the most vulnerable regions, countries and children, with special focus on accelerating sub-national and local action as we approach the midpoint of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) timeline. Stakeholders can use this resource, and the accompanying interactive maps, to understand the global and country-level trends to inform responsive policies and strategies to reduce inequity and achieve the SDG targets in child mortality.