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Release: Unexplained deaths in infancy, England and Wales, 2011

Released: 21 August 2013 Next edition: 20 August 2014


Joanne Evans

Child Health

Telephone: +44 (0)1633 455898

Categories: Population, Deaths, Mortality Rates, Child Mortality, Infant Mortality, Health and Social Care, Health of the Population, Causes of Death

Frequency of release: Annually

Language: English

Geographical coverage: England and Wales

Geographical breakdown: Region

  • A total of 244 unexplained infant deaths occurred in England and Wales in 2011, which is a rate of 0.34 deaths per 1,000 live births.

  • This bulletin looks at deaths occurring between 2004 and 2011. In 2004, there were 317 unexplained deaths, which is a rate of 0.50 deaths per 1,000 live births.

  • Unexplained infant deaths accounted for 8% of all infant deaths occurring in 2011.

  • In 2011 8 out of 10 unexplained infant deaths occurred in the post-neonatal period (between 28 days and one year).

  • Almost two-thirds (64%) of unexplained infant deaths were boys in 2011 (155 deaths).

  • The rate of unexplained infant deaths for babies born outside marriage, and registered by the mother only, was 0.91 per 1,000 live births.

  • The rate of unexplained infant deaths for babies born inside marriage was 0.19 per 1,000 live birth.

Presents data on sudden infant deaths, unascertained deaths and all unexplained infant deaths occurring annually in England and Wales. Also contains data on sex and age at death plus analyses by some of the key risk factors affecting sudden infant death such as birthweight, mother’s age, mother’s country of birth and father’s NS-SEC.

For information on data quality, legislation and procedures relating to unexplained infant deaths, please see Mortality Metadata and the Summary Quality Report for Unexplained Deaths in Infancy, England and Wales.

Gestation specific mortality presents data on live births and infant deaths by gestational age.

Child Mortality Statistics presents data on stillbirths, infant deaths ad childhood deaths by cause of death, sex and age-group.

The birth cohort tables for infant deaths provide specific data for deaths of infants born in a given calendar year using additional data from the birth record.

There are also rolling three-year aggregate infant mortality figures at local authority level.

The Vital Statistics: Population and Health Reference Tables provide quarterly and annual infant mortality data for the United Kingdom and its constituent countries (based on deaths registered in a year).

Summary data for infant mortality in England and Wales (based on deaths registered in the year) are available in the Deaths registrations summary tables.

A geographical breakdown of infant death numbers and rates by local authority and county level (based on deaths registered in the year) is available in Deaths registered in England and Wales by usual area of residence.

For data for other UK countries please see the latest infant death statistics for Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The Births summary tables, England and Wales provide key summary statistics for live births in England and Wales.

We welcome feedback on the content, format and relevance of this release.

Other useful information

Results of the ICD-10 v2010 bridge coding study for stillbirths and neonatal deaths, England and Wales

Disclosure Control Policy for Birth and Death Statistics

Summary Quality Reports for Child Mortality Statistics

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.