6 Reduce child mortality

Where do we stand?

Progress on child mortality is gaining momentum.
The target is to reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under five years old mortality rate, from 93 children of every 1,000 dying to 31 of every 1,000. Child deaths are falling, but much more needs to be done in order to reach the development goal. Revitalizing efforts against pneumonia and diarrhea, while bolstering nutrition, could save millions of children.

Annual rates of reduction in under-five mortality, by region, 1990-2000 and 2000-2010 (Percentage)

Bar Chart

UNDP’s work around the globe

  • UNDP in Malaysia

    Empowering single mothers in Malaysia
    UNDP in Malaysia

    Single mothers in Malaysia face many challenges, but those living in poverty face plenty more. In addition to the financial challenges and the responsibilities of being more

Quick Facts

  • Globally, deaths within the first month of life fell from 32 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 23 in 2010.
  • Since 1990, in the developing regions, the mortality rate of under-five years old has declined by 35 percent, from 97 deaths per 1,000 births to 63.
  • Sub- Saharan Africa has doubled its average rate of child mortality reduction from 1.2 percent a year during 1990-2000, to 2.4 percent during 2000-2010.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa suffers though a higher neonatal mortality rate (35 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010) than any other region, and has recorded the least improvement over the last two decades.
  • Children in the developing regions as a whole, are twice as likely to die before their fifth birthday as children in the richest 20 percent of households.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa had a 85 percent drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2010.

1.7 years
remaining
until 2015

1990 2015
Featured Publication
The Millennium Development Goals Report 2012

Three important targets on poverty, slums and water have been met three years ahead of 2015, says this year’s Report. Meeting the remaining targets, while challenging, is possible ─ but only if Governments do not waiver from their commitments.


More MDG-related publications
Targets for MDG4
  1. Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five
    • Under-five mortality rate
    • Infant mortality rate
    • Proportion of 1 year-old children immunised against measles