New Year’s Babies: Over 27,000 children will be born in Latin America and the Caribbean on New Year’s Day - UNICEF

In 2020, UNICEF is calling for world leaders and nations to invest in providing health workers with the know-how and equipment to save every newborn

31 December 2019
© UNICEF/UN0186354/Njiokiktjien VII Photo
UNICEF/UN0186354/Njiokiktjien VII Photo

NEW YORK/PANAMA, 1 January 2020 An estimated 392,078 babies will be born around the world on New Year’s Day, 27,283 of them in countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, UNICEF said today.

“The beginning of a new year and a new decade is an opportunity to reflect on our hopes and aspirations not only for our future, but the future of those who will come after us,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “As the calendar flips each January, we are reminded of all the possibility and potential of each child embarking on her or his life’s journey—if they are just given that chance.”

Fiji in the Pacific will most likely deliver 2020’s first baby. The United States, its last. It is estimated that 7% of all births will take place in Latin America and the Caribbean, where Brazil will be the country where more babies will be born on New Year's Day:

  1. Brazil – 8.009
  2. Mexico – 5.801
  3. Colombia – 2.012
  4. Argentina – 1.928
  5. Peru – 1.586
  6. Venezuela – 1.428
  7. Guatemala – 1.137
  8. Ecuador - 930
  9. Haiti - 745
  10. Chile - 641

Each January, UNICEF celebrates babies born on New Year’s Day, an auspicious day for child birth around the world.

However, for millions of newborns around the region, the day of their birth is far less auspicious. In 2018, 102,500 newborns died in just their first month of life; about a third of them on the first day of life. Among those children, most died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis.

Over the past three decades, the world has seen remarkable progress in child survival, cutting the number of children worldwide who die before their fifth birthday by more than half. In Latin America, the number of children who die before their fifth birthday has been reduced to a third (172,000 in 2018 versus 641,000 in 1990). But there has been slower progress for newborns. In the region, babies dying in the first month accounted for 59 per cent of all deaths among children under five in 2018, up from 42 per cent in 1990.

UNICEF’s Every Child Alive campaign calls for immediate investment in health workers with the right training, who are equipped with the right medicines to ensure every mother and newborn is cared for by a safe pair of hands to prevent and treat complications during pregnancy, delivery and birth.

“Too many mothers and newborns are not being cared for by a trained and equipped midwife or nurse, and the results are devastating,” added Fore. “We can ensure that millions of babies survive their first day and live into this decade and beyond if every one of them is born into a safe pair of hands.”



Notes to Editors

For complete un-rounded estimates on births for 190 countries, click here

For the data, UNICEF worked with the World Data Lab. The estimates for the number of babies born on 1 January 2020 draw on the latest revision of the UN’s World Population Prospects (2019). Building on these datasets, World Data Lab’s (WDL) algorithm projects estimates of the number of births for each day by country.

To download photos to accompany this story, click here.


Media Contacts

Alfonso Fernández Reca
Regional Communication Specialist
UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean
Tel: +507 301-7373
Tel: +507 6941-2277
Sabrina Sidhu
Tel: +1 917 4761537


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