The number of live-born babies who die before their first birthday has fallen sharply since 2000, according to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Tuesday.

In 2000, an average of 5.1 babies died per 1,000 live births.

That death rate has fallen over 20 years to 3.6 deaths per 1,000 live births.

When newborns die, this happens in three quarters of the cases in the first 28 days from the day of birth.

Mothers younger than 20 years old had an average of three times the risk of dying of their babies than older mothers.

In 2019, of the 170,000 live births, 617 died before their first birthday.

At the beginning of the century, an average of a thousand babies died every year before their first year of life.

The fact that fewer babies are dying, according to Statistics Netherlands, is partly due to the decrease in the number of teenage mothers, better prenatal screening and the decrease in the number of multiple pregnancies.

The Dutch infant mortality rate is the same as the average in the European Union.

The death rate is the highest in Romania and Bulgaria, with an average of 6 deaths per 1,000 babies.

The mortality rate is lowest in Estonia, Slovenia and Sweden, with 2 deaths per 1,000 babies.