One thousand children will be born in Cambodia on New Year’s Day, starting a new hopeful chapter

UNICEF dedicates 2021, its 75th year, to reimagining a better world for children.

01 January 2021

NEW YORK, 1 January 2021 On New Year’s Day, 971 babies will be born in Cambodia according to UNICEF estimates. They will be among a cohort of 371,504 babies to be born around the world on January 1st. These Cambodian babies are predicted to have a higher life expectancy than previous generations, at 81.2 years.

The coming year also marks the 75th anniversary of UNICEF being founded. In Cambodia, UNICEF has worked to advance the rights and wellbeing of children since 1952. Throughout 2020, UNICEF has supported the Royal Government of Cambodia and partners to respond to the COVID-19 crisis by enabling distance learning for hundreds of thousands of students, supporting the safe re-opening of schools for 3.2 million children, ensuring COVID-19 safety messages reached more than 10 million people, and providing crucial sanitation and hygiene supplies to 4 million.

In 2021, UNICEF’s response to the pandemic will move to the next stage, working with the Government and the World Health Organisation on providing COVID-19 vaccines in Cambodia through the COVAX facility. At the same time, existing services need to be maintained, and the progress made in the last decades towards improving the lives of Cambodian children must be protected.

“We are excited that we will welcome a thousand beautiful new babies into Cambodia this New Year’s Day,” said Foroogh Foyouzat, UNICEF Cambodia Representative. “2020 has been a challenging year for all, especially children. Yet, Cambodia was successful in containing the pandemic and keeping COVID-19 cases lower than most countries, and we are hopeful that the same trend can be maintained. Working closely with the Government, development partners, and the people of Cambodia, UNICEF will continue to reminagine a better world for Cambodian children to grow up in. Each of them deserves the chance to fulfill their potential in life, and we pledge to work tirelessly towards that goal in our 75th year - and beyond.”

Globally, the world still faces unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic, economic slowdown, rising poverty and inequality. This calls for the joint action of everyone working with children to fulfill and protect their rights, so that new generations born in 2021 and beyond have a fair and equal chance to survive and thrive.

New Year’s Babies – The Global Facts

Fiji in the Pacific will welcome 2021’s first baby.

The United States will welcome its last.

Globally, over half the world’s 371,504 New Year’s Day births are predicted to take place in just 10 countries:

India (59,995)

China (35,615)

Nigeria (21,439)

Pakistan (14,161)

Indonesia (12,336)

Ethiopia (12,006)

United States of America (10,312)

Egypt (9,455)

Bangladesh (9,236)

Democratic Republic of the Congo (8,640)


Notes to Editors

For complete 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 monthly and daily fractions of births. UNICEF used annual live births numbers and period life expectancy from the latest UN’s World Population Prospects (2019) to estimate the babies born on 1 January 2021 and life expectancy.

To download photos to accompany this story, visit here.

Media contacts

Rudina Vojvoda
Chief of Communication
UNICEF Cambodia
Tel: +85523260204;ext=434
Bunly Meas
Communication Specialist
UNICEF Cambodia
Tel: +85523260204;ext=435


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

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