7. Record low number of deaths of children during the first year of life

In 2015, altogether 96 children died under the age of one, which was 29 fewer than in the year before. Infant mortality was 1.7 per 1,000 live-born children. The main causes of death among children under the age of one were perinatal reasons and inborn malformations (Table 3). Infectious diseases, accidents and violence are rare causes of death for infants.

In 2015, there were 172 stillbirths, which was slightly higher than in the year before (2014: 163 children). Perinatal mortality (deaths during the first week and stillborn) was 4.0 per thousand births. More than one-half of children dying during their first year of life die during their first week of life (in the early neonatal period) and 70 per cent during the first four weeks of life (in the neonatal period). The main causes of death after the neonatal period are inborn malformations and cot deaths. In 2015, six children suffered cot death, whereas in 2014 the corresponding number was 14. Cot deaths mostly occur to children over the age of one month.

The mortality of children aged 1 to 14 has nearly halved over the past twenty years. In 2015, the number of deaths among children was 67, which was 20 fewer than in the previous year. This corresponds with approximately 8 deaths per 100,000 children. The most common causes of death among children were cancers and traffic accidents.

Over the past ten years, women dying from reasons related to pregnancy or childbirth has been three per year, on average. The year 2011 was the first year in the history of the statistics on causes of death when there were no maternal deaths. In 2015, there were two maternal deaths, which meant that maternal mortality was 3.6 deaths per 100,000 live-born children.

More information about mortality during infant and perinatal period can be found in Appendix table 3.

Figure 11. Mortality during infant and perinatal period in 1992–2015

Figure 11. Mortality during infant and perinatal period in 1992–2015

Table 4. Causes of death among children under the age of one 2000, 2005, 2010, 2014 and 2015

  2000 2005 2010 2014 2015
Total deaths 205 179 138 125 96
Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period (P00–P96) 84 77 58 46 49
Congenital malformations and chromosomal abnormalities (Q00–Q99) 78 61 40 42 30
Sudden infant death syndrome (R95) 18 19 17 14 6
Diseases of circulatory system and respiratory system (J00–J99, I00–I99) 4 5 5 3 1
Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (E00–E90) 5 6 3 6 2
Other diseases and unknown 13 9 11 10 8
Accidents and assault (V01–Y89) 3 2 4 4 0

Source: Causes of death, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Airi Pajunen 029 551 3605, Jari Hellanto 029 551 3291, kuolemansyyt@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 30.12.2016

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Causes of death [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-5078. 2015, 7. Record low number of deaths of children during the first year of life . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 21.10.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ksyyt/2015/ksyyt_2015_2016-12-30_kat_007_en.html