Story: Child and youth health

New Zealand infant mortality compared to select OECD countries, 1960–2016 (2nd of 2)

Move the mouse over the lines on the graph to see the infant mortality figures. Click on a country in the key to remove that line from the graph; click on the country again to restore it.

New Zealand's infant mortality rate was the lowest in the world in the early 20th century, and the second-lowest at the beginning of the second half of the century. The rate continued to decline, but other comparable countries began to catch up with, and then surpass, New Zealand. This means that while New Zealand's infant mortality has almost consistently dropped, which is a very favourable and noteworthy trend, New Zealand has done comparatively worse in an international context – its position has fallen relative to other countries. Despite this, New Zealand's infant mortality rate is historically low and close to the rates of other developed countries.

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Source: OECD Health Statistics: Health status

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Child and youth health - Health status of children and young people', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 7 July 2022)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 29 Nov 2018