17% of babies to be born globally on Jan 1 will be Indian

New Delhi, Jan 1 An estimated 67,385 babies will be born in India, in 2020 on New Year’s Day, UNICEF said on Wednesday.

Indian babies will account for 17 per cent of the estimated 3,92,078 babies to be born globally on New Year’s Day.

Fiji in the Pacific will most likely deliver 2020’s first baby. The US, its last. Globally, over half of these births are estimated to take place in eight countries. India with 67,385 tops the list followed by China at 46,299, Nigeria — 26,039, Pakistan — 16,787, Indonesia — 13,020, The US — 10,452, The Democratic Republic of Congo — 10,247 and Ethiopia — 8,493.

Each January, UNICEF celebrates babies born on New Year’s Day, an auspicious day for child birth around the world. Babies born today share their birthday with global icons like, famous physicist Satyendra Nath Bose born on 1st January 1894, or well-known Bollywood actor, Vidya Balan born on 1st January 1979.

However, for millions of newborns around the world, the day of their birth is far less auspicious.

In 2018, 2.5 million 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. In addition, more than 2.5 million babies are born dead each year.

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. But there has been slower progress for newborns. Babies dying in the first month accounted for 47 per cent of all deaths among children under five in 2018, up from 40 per cent in 1990.

“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 possibilities and potential of each child embarking on her or his life’s journey — if they are just given that chance.”