2016 Stillbirth Statistics Announced

Published on: 21/07/2017

Data from the Office for National Statistics reports that the stillbirth rate decreased to 4.4 per 1,000 total births in 2016, the lowest rate since 1992.

The number of stillbirths in England and Wales fell by 1.1% to 3,112 in 2016, from 3,147 in 2015. The stillbirth rate takes into account the total number of births (live and stillbirths), so provides a more accurate indication of trends than just analysing the number of stillbirths over time. In 2016, the stillbirth rate for England and Wales fell to 4.4 per 1,000 total births; the lowest rate since 1992 when it was 4.3.

In England, the stillbirth rate in 2016 was 4.3 per 1,000 total births, down from 4.4 in 2015. There has been a general downward trend in the stillbirth rate over the last 10 years with a decrease of 19% since 2006.
In Wales, the stillbirth rate in 2016 was 5.0 per 1,000 total births, up from 4.7 in 2015. The small number of stillbirths in Wales means the rate can fluctuate.

There were 696,271 live births in England and Wales in 2016, a decrease of 0.2% from 2015.

The number of foreign-born mothers having babies in England and Wales in 2016 reached 28% – the highest level on record. This figure has increased every year since 1990.

It also shows more women in their 40s are giving birth than women aged under 20. This is the second year in a row this has happened – a pattern last recorded in 1947.

The fertility rate for women aged 40 and over has now trebled since 1990, to 15.9 babies born per 1,000 women in that age group.
The rate at which women in their 30s are having babies has been on the rise since the 1980’s.

In contrast, among women under 20 and aged 20-24, fertility rates are now at their lowest level since 1938.

The proportion of all live births to mothers born outside the UK stood at 11.6% at the start of the 1990s.

The ONS says one of the reasons for the increase since then is that fertility levels are generally higher among foreign-born women.

The average age of mothers in 2016 increased to 30.4 years, compared with 30.3 years in 2015.

Heidi Eldridge, CEO of MAMA Academy said, “We are pleased to see the number of stillbirths are continuing to decline in the UK but there is still so much more work to be done to achieve the governments target of a rate of 4.09 by 2020. We are committed to working closely with NHS Trusts to continue to save as many babies lives as possible to prevent parents the heartache of saying goodbye to their precious child”.