The Department of Health has today published an updated version of its annual mortality monitoring bulletin on infant mortality. These statistics have been released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.
• In 2008-10, the infant mortality rate in England and Wales (based on infant deaths successfully linked to their birth records) fell to 4.4 deaths per 1,000 live births - the lowest three-year average infant mortality rate ever recorded for England and Wales.
• In 2008-10, infant mortality rates remain higher than average for babies with fathers in routine and manual occupations (at 4.7 deaths per 1,000 live births), and for births registered by the mother alone (at 5.9 deaths per 1,000 live births).
• Infant mortality rates remained lowest for babies whose fathers were in managerial and professional occupations, at 3.1 deaths per 1,000 live births.
• Since 2002-04, infant mortality rates have fallen across all socio-economic groups with a larger decrease in the Routine and Manual group, resulting in a narrowing of the social gradient. Between 2002-04 and 2008-10, rates fell by 20% in the Routine and Manual group, compared with 8% in the Managerial and Professional group.
• The absolute gap in infant mortality rates between the Routine and Manual group and the average for all births with socio-economic group assigned has narrowed by 53% since 2002-04. The relative gap also narrowed by 46% over the same period.
The full statistical release can be found at the following URL: