Infant mortality rates in England and Wales have risen for the third year in a row with families in the poorest communities worst affected, official data shows.
Between 2016 and 2017 the infant mortality rate rose from 3.8 deaths per 1,000 births, to 3.9 per 1,000, data from the Office for National Statistics shows.
This means the infant mortality rate has risen “significantly” since it hit a record low in 2014, and in the most deprived communities it stands as high as 5.2 deaths per 1,000.
Overall 2,636 babies died before their first birthday in 2017, the ONS data shows.
While this is fewer deaths than in 2016, the birth rate has also fallen and that means the proportion of newborns surviving to age one has fallen.