Baby loss statistics

The latest UK statistics about baby loss and pregnancy complications.

Every baby deserves the best start in life, and we are committed to funding medical research and providing information to help more people to have a healthy pregnancy and birth.

Key statistics about pregnancy and loss in the UK 

  • 673,275 births were registered in 2022 (605,479 in England & Wales (1); 46,959 in Scotland (4); 20,837 in Northern Ireland (5)).
  • There were 2,680 stillbirths in 2022 (2,433 in England & Wales (1); 176 in Scotland (4); 71 Northern Ireland (5)).
  • The stillbirth rate in 2022 decreased to 4.0 stillbirths per 1,000 total births from 4.1 in 2021 in England and Wales; however, this is still higher than pre-pandemic levels (1).
  • Crucially, we are not on track to achieve the previous government ambition of halving the 2010 stillbirth rate to 2.6 stillbirths per 1,000 total births by 2025. 
  • In England and Wales, babies from the Black ethnic group continued to have the highest stillbirth rate of 6.5 per 1,000 births, compared with 3.5 for the White ethnic group. The stillbirth rate in the Asian ethnic group is 4.7 per 1,000 births (2).
  • The overall percentage of premature live births in England and Wales was 7.9% in 2022. This is an increase from 7.5% in 2021. This is the second year that there has been an increase in the rate of premature live births (2). This is more than 53,000 babies born prematurely in 2022.
  • Premature birth rates were highest in the North West of England (8.5%) and lowest in the South West (7.5%) (2).
  • Each year in the UK, nearly 12,000 women have ectopic pregnancies diagnosed (6).
  • There is a lot of uncertainty around how many miscarriages and pregnancy losses occur each year in the UK. Unlike stillbirths and neonatal deaths, miscarriages are not counted. Therefore our number for how many there are a year are estimated.  
  • Based on the available data we have, we believe that there were between 110,426 and 156,089 miscarriages in England and Wales in 2022. However, we expect this figure to be an underestimate and are urging the government to officially count all miscarriages in the UK (2).
  • The neonatal mortality rate (death aged under 28 days) was 2.9 deaths per 1,000 live births in England and Wales in 2022. This is an increase from 2.7 deaths per 1,000 births in 2021 (3).
  • 272 women died during pregnancy or within 42 days of the end of pregnancy (by direct or indirect causes) in the UK between 2020 and 2022. This is a maternal death rate of 13.41 per 100,000 maternities (6).  
  • This is higher than the rates in both 2019 to 2021, and 2017 to 2019; 11.66 per 100,000 and 8.79 per 100,000 respectively (6)

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Media requests about baby loss statistics

Our clinicians, scientists and researchers are available to speak about stillbirth, neonatal death, premature birth and neonatal death statistics for press and media. If you are a journalist interested in speaking to a clinician from Tommy's network of research centres, please contact Tommy's press office on 0207 398 3436 or email [email protected].

Source 1: ONS birth summary (2024) in England and Wales – data for 2022 [Online]. Available on: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/bulletins/birthsummarytablesenglandandwales/2022refreshedpopulations (Accessed: 13/06/24)

Source 2: ONS birth characteristics (2024) in England and Wales – data for 2022 [Online]. Available on: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/bulletins/birthcharacteristicsinenglandandwales/2022 (Accessed: 13/06/24)

Source 3: ONS child and infant mortality (2024) in England and Wales – data from 2022 [Online]. Available on: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/childhoodinfantandperinatalmortalityinenglandandwales/2022#:~:text=In%202022%2C%20the%20overall%20neonatal,risk%20of%20serious%20health%20complications (Accessed: 13/06/24)

Source 4: National Records of Scotland (2024) Vital Events Reference Table – data from 2022 [Online]. Available on: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/general-publications/vital-events-reference-tables/2022 (Accessed: 13/06/24)

Source 5: NISRA (2024) Registrar General Annual Report, Stillbirths and Infant Deaths – data for 2022 [Online]. Available on: https://www.nisra.gov.uk/statistics/births-deaths-and-marriages/registrar-general-annual-report (Accessed: 13/06/24)

Source 6: Maternal Mortality 2020-2022, MBRRACE-UK [Online]. Available on: https://www.npeu.ox.ac.uk/mbrrace-uk/data-brief/maternal-mortality-2020-2022#:~:text=Maternal%20mortality%20rates%20UK%202020%2D2022,-Overall%20293%20women&text=Thus%2C%20in%20this%20triennium%20272,%25%20CI%2011.86%2D15.10) (Accessed: 14/06/24)