The number of live babies who die before their first birthday has fallen sharply since 2000, according to data 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 in 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 after the day of birth.

Mothers under the age of 20 had an average of three times the risk of dying of their babies than older mothers.

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

At the beginning of this century, an average of 1,000 babies per year died before their first year of life.

According to Statistics Netherlands, the decrease in infant mortality 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 mortality rate is highest in Romania and Bulgaria, with an average of six deaths per thousand live births.

Relatively few babies die in Estonia, Slovenia and Sweden.

In those countries, this is two deaths per thousand live births.