New Year’s Babies: Over 370,000 children will be born worldwide on New Year’s Day - UNICEF

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

31 December 2020
Sitting in her mother's lap, an infant smiles at Posyandu (Integrated Community Health Outreach Post) in Kuala Ligan village of Aceh Jaya District, Aceh Province. Indonesia.
© UNICEF/2018/Shehzad Noorani

NEW YORK, 1 January 2021 An estimated 371,504 babies will be born around the world on New Year’s Day, according to UNICEF.

As the calendar turns to 2021, UNICEF is again celebrating the new lives being brought into the world on January 1. Fiji in the Pacific will welcome 2021’s first baby. The United States will welcome its last. Globally, over half of these births are estimated to take place in 10 countries: India (59,995), China (35,615), Nigeria (21,439), Pakistan (14,161), Indonesia (12,336), Ethiopia (12,006), the United States (10,312), Egypt (9,455), Bangladesh (9,236) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (8,640).

In total, an estimated 140 million children will be born in 2021. Their average life expectancy is expected to be 84 years.

Most popular baby names in select countries

around the time of UNICEF’s creation*

Male

Female

Australia

John

Margaret

China

Ming

Shulan

Croatia

Ivan

Marija

Denmark

Erik

Kristen

France

Jean

Marie

Germany

Hans

Renate

Israel

Moshe

Esther

Japan

Masaru

Kazuko

Korea

Yeong-ho

Yeong-ja

Poland

Jan

Maria

Russia

Ivan

Maria

Spain

Jose

María Carmen

United Kingdom

John

Margaret

United States

James

Mary

“The children born today enter a world far different than even a year ago, and a New Year brings a new opportunity to reimagine it,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Children born today will inherit the world we begin to build for them—today. Let us make 2021 the year we start to build a fairer, safer, healthier world for children.”

2021 will also mark the 75th anniversary of UNICEF. Over the course of the year, UNICEF and its partners will be commemorating the anniversary with events and announcements celebrating three-quarters of a century of protecting children from conflict, disease and exclusion and championing their right to survival, health and education.

“Today, as the world faces a global pandemic, economic slowdown, rising poverty and deepening inequality, the need for UNICEF’s work is as great as ever,” said Fore. “For the last 75 years, throughout conflicts, displacements, natural disasters and crises, UNICEF has been there for the world’s children. As a New Year dawns, we renew our commitment to protect children, to speak up for their rights, and to make sure their voices are heard, no matter where they live.”

In response to the global pandemic, UNICEF launched the Reimagine campaign, a global effort to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from becoming a lasting crisis for children. Through the campaign, UNICEF is issuing an urgent appeal to governments, the public, donors and the private sector to join UNICEF as we seek to respond, recover and reimagine a better, post-pandemic world.

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Notes to Editors

*Data on baby names compiled by Dr. I. M. Nick of the American Name Society. Countries and territories included based on availability of statistical data compiled and released by regional or national governmental agencies.

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

To download photos to accompany this story, visit here.

Media contacts

Sara Alhattab
UNICEF New York
Tel: +1 917 957 6536

About UNICEF

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.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.

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About the Reimagine Campaign 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF has launched Reimagine — an urgent appeal to governments, the public, donors and the private sector to support UNICEF’s efforts to respond, recover and reimagine a world currently besieged by COVID-19. Together, we can prevent this pandemic from becoming a lasting crisis for children—especially the most vulnerable—and Reimagine a fairer world for every child.

Join us: https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/covid-19/donate