Child Mortality and Infant Mortality

Facts and Statistics about Child Mortality

Child Mortality
A mother feeds her malnourished six-month old son in Kenya. Credit: REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly,


Every day there are an estimated 21,000 children under the age of five that are dying. In 2013 it is predicted that over seven million children will die before reaching their fifth birthday.

What is "Child Mortality"?

The definition of "child mortality": The death of children and infants under the age of five years old.

These children do not have to die. Many of the causes of child deaths come from preventable diseases or conditions including malnutrition, lack of safe drinking water, disease and infection.   


Many developing countries suffer from a lack of services supporting adequate living conditions, nutrition and health care that contribute to the increased child mortality rates around the world. Preventative healthcare based on social, cultural, and behavioral change has an immediate long-term impact, particularly on the lives of women and children.

SOS Children's Villages works to strengthen existing social services in these regions and create family centered support systems via SOS Family Strengthening Programs that provide families with tools and resources to help prevent child mortality.

How You Can Fight Rising Child Mortality Rates

Help spread the word about child mortality and raise awareness on this important issue and how people like you can help. Many of these children could be saved each year if they received basic vaccines, antibiotics and nutritional supplements. A donation today can help provide these things for children in need across the world.

  • $25 can pay for medicine that protects 5 children against malaria 
  • $30 provides vitamin supplements for eight children
  • $50 allows 50 children in underdeveloped countries to receive vaccinations against polio and measles
  • $125 can provide 3 months of water purification tablets.


Learn more about how to fight malnutrition, combat disease with preventative health and how to empower mothers through maternal education. Focusing in on these three areas can dramatically lead to a reduction in child mortality.

Read the stories below about how SOS is already working across the world to help bring child mortality numbers down and allow more children to grow up in loving homes with their biological homes or within SOS Villages.