In 2020, the number of children who died in Belgium in the first year of their lives was the lowest in 20 years, according to figures from Statbel, published on Tuesday.
In total, 862 children did reach their first birthday in 2020, according to the statistical office.
They include 494 stillborn babies - 82 fewer than in 2019 - and 368 children who died under the age of one year – 14% fewer than in 2019 and a 34.3% drop compared to the year 2000.
Over the past two decades, 2009 and 2010 stand out as the years with the highest fetal and infant mortality figures, with 1,111 and 1,112 feto-infant deaths registered respectively in the two years.
The drop continued to be observed in 2020 “even if we take into account the evolution of the number of births,” Statbel stressed.
“The infant mortality rate was 3.2 per 1000 live births in 2020, compared to 4.8 per 1000 in 2000,” the statistical office reported.