Finally, some good news.

Argentina’s infant mortality rate – which indicates the number of children who die under the age of one, per 1000 live births – dropped to 9.7 in 2015. The figure was recorded in the vital statistics that were presented for that year by the Argentine Ministry of Health, who stressed that it marks the first time in 25 years that the indicator has fallen to a single digit.

A 0.9-point improvement on the previous data set, which put the infant mortality rate for 2014 at 10.6, the indicator has continued its gradual decrease since at least 1990.

The district with the best performance was, pretty unsurprisingly, the City of Buenos Aires, where infant mortality was 6.4 per 10 thousand live births, followed by the province of Chubut with 6.9 and Tierra del Fuego with 7.6.

Meanwhile, things didn’t look so good for babies born in Corrientes, where the indicator climbed to a massive 14.5. Corrientes was followed by Formosa with 12.6, Tucumán with 12.4, Salta with 11.8, La Rioja with 11.3, Catamarca with 11, Santa Cruz with 10.9, Jujuy with 10.7, and Entre Ríos with 10.4.

Babies and puppies are needed today
Babies and puppies are needed today

The report also brought to light some other interesting facts about childbirth in Argentina that year, including the age groups of mothers, their educational backgrounds and maternal mortality rate.

The majority of the babies born alive were delivered by women aged 20-24 (189,542), while 175,362 were born to women aged 25-29 and 155,082 to women between 30 and 34. Meanwhile, 98,623 infants were born to mothers aged between 35 and 39 years, 25,346 to women between 40 and 44, and 1,755 to women over 45.

On the other hand, 108,912 babies were given birth to by women between the ages of 15 and 19 and 2787 by girls who had not yet reached the age of 15 by the time of childbirth. The district with the highest number of mothers under 15 was the province of Buenos Aires (440), as well as that of the majority of mothers between 15 and 19 (33,500).

In 2015, 2787 were delivered by girls who had not yet reached the age of 15. Photo via Libre Expresión

Interestingly, the gap between the number of mothers who were involved with a partner at the time of birth and those who were not was huge: while the former accounted for 622,491 (most of them – 434,967 – between 20 and 34 years), the latter was 105,092.

Of all the women, 214,157 had completed secondary education (177,544 had attended but not completed secondary school), while 150,296 had completed primary education (34,737 had not finished). In addition, 101,881 had completed tertiary or university education, and 52,493 had started but not graduated.

Figures for maternal mortality – which registers the rate of women who died during pregnancy, childbirth and puerperium for every 10,000 live births nationwide – were unfortunately not as favourable as those for infant mortality as a slight rise was registered compared to 2014, 3.9 compared to 3.7. The best results were recorded in the provinces of Santa Cruz (1.6), Santa Fe (1.9), La Pampa (1.9) and in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires (1.9). On the other hand, the highest maternal mortality rates were registered in Salta (8.1), Jujuy (7.5) and Chaco (7.3).