- In 2007-09 the infant mortality rate in England and Wales (based on infant deaths successfully linked to their birth records) was 4.5 deaths per 1,000 live births - the lowest three-year average infant mortality rate ever recorded for England and Wales. (This will differ slightly from the overall infant mortality rate published elsewhere).
- In 2007-09, infant mortality rates were higher than average for babies with fathers in routine and manual occupations (at 5.0 deaths per 1,000 live births), and for births registered by the mother alone (at 6.2 deaths per 1,000 live births).
- Rates were lowest for babies with fathers in managerial and professional occupations (3.2 deaths per 1,000 live births).
- Over recent years infant mortality rates have fallen across socio-economic groups, with larger falls in the Routine and Manual group, resulting in a narrowing of the social gradient. Between 2002-04 and 2007-09, rates fell by 16% in the Routine and Manual group, compared with 6% 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 since 2002-04. The relative gap also narrowed over the same period.
The titles of the publications on mortality monitoring have been altered slightly following the change in Government policy to abolish previous PSA targets. As an interim measure, the data presented in previous years have been updated, though these are being presented in two bulletins rather than the three that were originally pre-announced for this year. The earlier bulletin in this series, covering mortality monitoring (life expectancy and all-age-all-cause mortality, and mortality from selected causes, overall and inequalities), was published on 28 October 2010. Next year’s bulletin(s) will reflect consultations taking place over the next few months on outcomes monitoring related to the NHS White Paper and the Public Health White Paper.