Irish babies born on January 1st expected to live to 93 years of age – UN

Some 157 babies due in Ireland today with nearly 60,000 due to arrive in India

Irish babies born on January 1st, 2021, are expected to live to 93 years of age, according to Unicef estimates published this morning.

The 157 babies due to be born in Ireland on January 1st will have an average life expectancy of 93.6 years based on data from last year's United Nations World Population Prospects which tracks worldwide population growth and ageing.

UN data shows the 228 babies due to be born in Hong Kong on January 1st will have the longest average life expectancy, living to just over 100 years of age.

The 1,097 babies due to be born in South Korea are expected to live to an average age of 99, while babies born in Singapore and Malta in 2021 could live to an average age of 98. Babies born on the French overseas island regions of Martinique and Guadeloupe could live to 97 and babies born this year in Japan and the Maldives will have an average life expectancy of 96 years of age.


Babies born in the UK today are expected to live to an average age of 91, while babies born in the US will have an average life expectancy of 90.

The more than 1,700 babies born today in the Central African Republic and Chad are expected to live until 61 years of age – the world’s lowest average life expectancy for children born today, according to the UN data combined with national household survey data and figures from national civil registration records and vital statistics.

A total of 371,504 babies are due to be born worldwide on January 1st, 2021, with Irish arrivals only accounting for a tiny 0.04 per cent of these. India will welcome nearly 60,000 new babies on the first day of the year, with 35,615 births in China, 21,439 births in Nigeria, 14,161 births in Pakistan, 12,336 births in Indonesia, 12,006 births in Ethiopia and 10,312 births in the United States.

Egypt, Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of the Congo will also welcome between 8,500-9,500 new babies each on the first day of the year.

The first baby to be born in 2021 will be welcomed on the Pacific island of Fiji, with the last birth for January 1st, 2021, taking place in the US.

Chief executive of Unicef Ireland Peter Power noted that 2021 would be “a critical year for children” and called on nations to renew their commitments to supporting “the young lives who will inherit the world we leave”.

The year 2021 also marks the 75th anniversary of Unicef and its work supporting children worldwide, with events planned through the year to mark the UN body’s work in protecting children from conflict, disease and exclusion and championing their right to survival, health and education, said Mr Power.

Data released to mark the 75-year anniversary shows John was the most popular baby name for boys born in countries with large Irish expatriate populations about the time of Unicef’s foundation, while Margaret and Mary were particularly popular names for baby girls in the US, Australia and Britain.

“This has been a difficult year for all of us, and there is perhaps no better way to turn the page than to welcome new young lives into the world,” said Mr Power. “With the challenges of 2020 behind us, and the opportunities of 2021 before us, now is the time to begin to build a better world. Children born today will inherit the world we begin to build for them today.”

*This article was edited on January 29th to reflect revised figures issued by Unicef

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast