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
New mother Animata cuddles her newborn baby at the PMI health center of Odienné, Northeast of Côte d'Ivoire.
UNI288585/Dejongh/2020
New mother Animata cuddles her newborn baby at the PMI health center of Odienné, Northeast of Côte d'Ivoire.

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 82 years.

“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. 

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

“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

Correction: A previous version of the press release and accompanying factsheet contained data errors on life expectancy for some developed countries.

* 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 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.

Media contacts

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

Multimedia content

A woman keeps in her arms her newborn daughter during a breastfeeding workshop in a health center located in Caracas, Venezuela.
A woman keeps in her arms her newborn daughter during a breastfeeding workshop in a health center located in Caracas, Venezuela.

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