The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) call for all countries to reach an under-5 mortality rate (U5MR) of at least as low as 25 deaths per 1000 livebirths and a neonatal mortality rate (NMR) of at least as low as 12 deaths per 1000 livebirths by 2030. The authors of this article estimated levels and trends in under-5 mortality for 195 countries from 1990 to 2019, and conducted scenario-based projections of the U5MR and NMR from 2020 to 2030 to assess country progress in, and potential for, reaching SDG targets on child survival and the potential under-5 and neonatal deaths over the next decade.
- The global U5MR decreased by 59 per cent, while the annual number of global under-5 deaths declined from 12.5 (12.3–12.7) million in 1990 to 5.2 (5.0–5.6) million in 2019—a 58 per cent reduction.
- The global NMR decreased by 52 per cent, and the annual number of global neonatal deaths declined from 5.0 (4.9–5.2) million in 1990 to 2.4 (2.3–2.7) million in 2019—a 51 per cent reduction.
- As of 2019, 122 of 195 countries have achieved the SDG U5MR target, and 20 countries are on track to achieve the target by 2030, while 53 will need to accelerate progress to meet the target by 2030.
- As of 2019, 116 countries have reached the SDG NMR target with 16 on track, leaving 63 at risk of missing the target.
- If current trends continue, 48.1 million under-5 deaths are projected to occur between 2020 and 2030, almost half of them projected to occur during the neonatal period. If all countries met the SDG target on under-5 mortality, 11 million under-5 deaths could be averted between 2020 and 2030.