Child deaths show rapid decline

Child and baby death rates have fallen dramatically over the
past thirty years according to official statistics. In 2002 there
were 6 deaths per 1000 boys under a year compared to 20.2 per
thousand in 1971. For girls the rate fell from 15.5 in 1971  to
4.6  in 2002.

Death rates for older children have also fallen. In 1971 there
were 0.5 deaths per thousand boys between one and 15, compared to
0.2 in 2002. Girls’ death rate fell from 0.4 to 0.1.

Social Trends, the annual digest of social statistics from the
National Statistical Office, also shows that women are having their
first child on average three years later now, and that  the
proportion of children living in one parent families has increased
from 7 per cent to 23 per cent of all children. The proportion of
children living in couple families with one or two dependent
children has changed little (from 54 to 51 per cent of all
children) but there are now far fewer two parent families with
three or more children. In 1971 41 per cent of children lived in
large two parent families, but by 2003 this had fallen to 24 per

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