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/R E P E A T -- New Year's Babies: Over 999 children will be born in Canada on New Year's Day - UNICEF/


As the calendar turns to 2019, UNICEF calls on nations to meet every newborn's right to health and survival

NEW YORK, Jan. 1, 2019 /CNW/ - An estimated 999 babies will be born in Canada on New Year's Day, UNICEF said today. In cities around the world, revelers will welcome not only the New Year with great festivities but also their newest and tiniest residents.

A special newborn care unit in a hospital in Afghanistan. © UNICEF/UN0159880/Niekpor (CNW Group/UNICEF Canada)

As the clock strikes midnight, Sydney will greet an estimated 168 babies, followed by 310 in Tokyo, 605 in Beijing, 166 in Madrid and finally, 317 in New York, 74 in Toronto, 51 in Montreal and 16 in Vancouver. Fiji in the Pacific will most likely deliver 2019's first baby; the United States, its last. A quarter of all babies will be born in South Asia alone. Globally, over half of these births are estimated to take place in eight countries:

  1. India — 69,944
  2. China — 44,940
  3. Nigeria — 25,685
  4. Pakistan — 15,112
  5. Indonesia — 13,256
  6. The United States — 11,086
  7. The Democratic Republic of Congo — 10,053
  8. Bangladesh — 8,428

Approximately 350,000 babies will be born in Canada in 2019. Families will welcome countless Logans and Noahs, Olivias and Emmas. But around the world and in Canada, many babies will not even be named as they won't make it past their first day.

Most newborn deaths are preventable

In 2017, about 1 million babies died the day they were born, and 2.5 million in just their first month of life. Among those children, most died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis and pneumonia, a violation of their basic right to survival.

"This New Year's Day, let's all make a resolution to fulfill every right of every child, starting with the right to survive," said Rowena Pinto, Chief Program Officer at UNICEF Canada. "We can save millions of babies if we invest in training and equipping local health workers so that every newborn is born into a safe pair of hands."

2019 also marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which UNICEF will be commemorating with worldwide events throughout the year. Under the convention, governments committed to, among other things, taking measures to save every child by providing good quality health care. 

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 account for 47 per cent of all deaths among children under five.

"We wish every baby born in Canada this year a life full of potential, laughter and good health," said Pinto. "In this moment of celebration and joy, our thoughts also go out to all the babies who won't survive their first day. At current life expectancy rates, a child born in Canada in January 2019 is likely to live until the 22nd century, while a child born in Côte d'Ivoire is unlikely to live beyond 2074."

Canadians can engage in global children's health issues

Today, UNICEF Canada is launching the Every Child Alive campaign calling for immediate investment to deliver affordable, quality health care solutions for every mother and newborn. These include a steady supply of clean water and electricity at health facilities, the presence of a skilled health attendant during birth, ample supplies and medicines to prevent and treat complications during pregnancy, delivery and birth, and empowered adolescent girls and women who can demand better quality of health services.

Canada has contributed significantly to child survival rates around the world, but 7000 newborns still die every die, mostly from preventable causes. More can and should be done for mothers and newborns. Canadians are invited to show their support to end preventable newborn deaths by visiting and signing a petition telling the Government of Canada to act now on this pressing issue.

"We can and must do better. This year, let's renew our efforts and commitment to give every baby a chance to survive, to laugh, to cry, to play, to grow – to have a name and to have life," added Pinto.

Notes to Editors

For complete un-rounded estimates on births and life expectancy for 190 countries, click here. For top ten baby names across 20 countries and number of births across 26 cities, click here. For the data, UNICEF worked with the World Data Lab.

The estimates for the number of babies born draw on the period indicators and the life tables of the UN's World Population Prospects (2017). Building on these datasets, World Data Lab's (WDL) algorithm projects the number of births for each day by country and their corresponding life expectancy. Similar methods were applied to compute the number of babies born in specific US and international cities as well as the regional estimates. Other data sources include UN Data, different US governmental services, and national statistics across several countries.

To download photos or video to accompany this story, click here. For photos of 12 New Year's babies from 12 time zones, click here (available only by 2 January 2019). 


UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit For updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook or visit


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