UNICEF estimated 371,504 babies will be born around the world on New Year’s Day. Fiji in the Pacific will welcome 2021’s first baby. The United States will welcome its last. For the estimates, UNICEF used vital registration and nationally representative household survey data to estimate the monthly and daily fractions of births in countries. UNICEF used the annual live births numbers and period life expectancy from the latest revision of the UN’s World Population Prospects (2019) to estimate the babies born on 1 January 2021 and their cohort life expectancy. Globally, over half of these births are estimated to take place in 10 countries: India (59,995), China (35,615), Nigeria (21,439), Pakistan (14,161), Indonesia (12,336), Ethiopia (12,006), the United States (10,312), Egypt (9,455), Bangladesh (9,236) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (8,640). In total, an estimated 140 million children will be born in 2021. Their average life expectancy is expected to be 82 years.
The children born in 2021 enter a world marked by the effects of a global pandemic and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore stressed the ongoing importance of protecting these children from conflict, disease and exclusion and championing their right to survival, health and education.