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Infant Deaths

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many infant deaths per 1,000 live births there were in each three-year period since 1978 to 1980 in (a) England and (b) among the routine and manual groups used for the purposes of assessing progress towards her Department’s target to reduce health inequalities. (109632)

I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 9 January 2007:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your question asking how many infant deaths per 1,000 live births there were in each three-year period since 1978 to 1980 in (a) England and (b) amongst the routine and manual groups used for the purpose of assessing progress towards the Department’s target to reduce health inequalities. (109632)

(a) Infant mortality rates in England for years since 1978 are routinely published in Table 2.1 of Health Statistics Quarterly which can be accessed using the following link:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_health/HSQ32.pdf

(b) Infant mortality rates in the routine and manual group are not available prior to 1997. This is because until 2000 infant mortality rates were published by Social Class based on father’s occupation. The nearest equivalent Social Class groups prior to 1997 are not comparable see background note 5. In 2001 Social Class was replaced by the National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC), and since then infant mortality figures have been published by NS-SEC. It is not possible to use NS-SEC for data prior to 2001 because there is not a one-to-one equivalence with the Social Class classification; an approximation is used, referred to as NS-SEC90 because it is based on the 1990 occupational classification. NS-SEC90 is used specifically to aid interpretation of trends over time in infant mortality and was calculated back to 1997.

The table below shows infant mortality rates in England and Wales from 1997-1999 to 2003-2005, for the routine and manual group and for all births inside marriage/joint registrations. We provide data for England and Wales as progress on the infant mortality target is assessed using these data as figures for the routine and manual group for England alone are not readily available.

Infant mortality rates1 by National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC)2, England and Wales, 1997-2005

Routine and manual occupations

All3

NS-SEC90

1997-99

6.3

5.6

1998-2000

6.2

5.4

1999-2001

6.2

5.3

NS-SEC

1999-2001

6.2

5.3

2000-02

6.0

5.2

2001-03

6.0

5.0

2002-04

5.9

4.9

2003-05

5.7

4.8

1 Deaths under 1 year of age per 1,000 live births

2 NS-SEC is used for 2001 onwards; NS-SEC90 is used for years 1997-2001

3 Infants born inside marriage or outside marriage jointly registered by both parents

Source:

ONS