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EU baby deaths have halved in last two decades, according to new statistics

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EU baby deaths have halved in last two decades, according to new statistics
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The number of babies dying before they reach a year old has halved on average across all EU member states in the last two decades, according to new figures.

Data released by Eurostat on Friday showed there were on average 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in the EU in 1997, compared with 3.6 deaths twenty years later.

In total, 18,200 children died under the age of one in 2017.

Eurostat

Malta, Romania and Bulgaria topped the table for highest infant mortality rates in the most recent statistics, while Cyprus and Finland had the best record.

The drop in infant deaths has become one of the most significant factors in the increase of a person's life expectancy from birth, according to Eurostat.

It is also down to "rising living standards, improved lifestyles and better education, as well as advances in healthcare and medicine," it added.