Child mortality in the WHO European Region down 64% since 2000: Explore updated Health for All and Mortality databases

Child mortality in the WHO European Region down 64% since 2000: Explore updated Health for All and Mortality databases

Did you know that average life expectancy in the WHO European Region is higher than in any other WHO Region? Or that estimated maternal mortality has halved since the year 2000, and child mortality in the Region has decreased 64% since 2000! More than 1400 indicators across the Health for All and Mortality databases have now been updated, and are available to explore here: European Health for All database (HFA-DB) and European mortality database (MDB).

The data are only as strong as what the WHO/Europe Member States present, and we are thankful that so many Member States want to strengthen national and international efforts to better utilize data and health information for evidence-based programme and policy making.  

Monitoring health trends to achieve global and regional goals

Life expectancy and mortality are among the core health indicators that serve as valuable measurements for tracking progress towards the health-related Sustainable Development Goals and other health and well-being targets in the 53 Member States of the WHO European Region. They form a foundation for WHO’s Thirteenth General Programme of Work 2019–2023 and European Programme of Work 2020–2025 – “United Action for Better Health in Europe”.

The report “Core health indicators in the WHO European Region”, produced each year with a unique theme and fresh data for all 53 WHO/Europe Member States, highlights key facts and figures that are critical to monitoring health trends.

Technical notes and sources

The recently updated data for both the Health for All and Mortality databases contain indicators that were compiled, validated, and processed by various international organizations, including the World Bank, Eurostat, OECD, WHO and other United Nations agencies and international networks, to improve the international comparability of the statistics. Nevertheless, many factors may influence the accuracy and comparability of national statistics, such as variations in definition, incomplete registration and other national specificities in data recording and processing. The international comparison of indicators should, therefore, always be interpreted with caution.

Data quality and comparability

WHO databases are updated several times each year. Therefore, the data presented on the European Health Information Gateway is a snapshot of the most recent data available at the time of publication. Regional averages, along with specific indicator values for Member States in the Region, may change after this update goes live because Member States can provide data retrospectively. Similar, maximum and minimum values shown on the graphs are subject to change and should be interpreted with caution, particularly in most recent years since that is where the most gaps in data coverage exist. 

Why is it important to submit data in a timely manner?

Data availability depends on Member States’ submission to various data collections, both to WHO and to other organizations, that occur throughout the year. For this reason, many indicators have at least a two-year delay of their data due to the time it takes to gather and report data both within the Member States and outside. Our goal is to continue to work with Member States to obtain the most up-to-date data for these indicators in the coming years. Timely submission of data contributes largely to the issue of data integrity. Regularly updated data are less likely to have pitfalls related to accuracy, completeness, or reliability.

Some other good reasons for timely data submission:

  • We close existing gaps in our data and report the most relevant information at the right time. Data can always be changed and updated later.
  • Researchers and decision-makers alike have access to the most recent information. This kind of accuracy is so important for making informed decisions!
  • Data and policy coherence among existing plans and actions across the Region.
  • It can enable us to accurately plan for and forecast things that might happen with the health of the Region in the future. Whether it’s predicting future needs or forecasting the number of deaths from certain illnesses, having up-to-date data is critical for making reliable forecasts.