Home Global Health News World Health Statistics 2023: monitoring health for the SDGs

World Health Statistics report

The World Health Statistics 2023 report is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual compilation of the latest available data on health and health-related indicators. Published since 2005. The report summarises the trends in life expectancy and causes of death, and reports on progress towards the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and associated targets.

WHO is releasing the 2023 edition of its annual World Health Statistics report with new figures on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the latest statistics on progress towards the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The report with data up to 2022 underscores a stagnation of health progress on key health indicators in recent years compared with trends seen during 2000-2015. It also alerts us to the growing threat of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and climate change, and calls for a coordinated and strengthened response.

Key Statistics

  • Between 2000 and 2020, the global number of maternal deaths fell from 447 000 to 287 000 and the global maternal mortality ratio decreased from 339 deaths per 100 000 live births to 223 deaths per 100 000 live births.
  • The global under-five mortality rate reduced by half between 2000 and 2021, from 76 deaths per 1000 live births to 38 deaths per 1000 live births.
  • The global neonatal mortality rate – infant deaths within the first month of life – improved from 31 deaths per 1000 live births (2000) to 18 deaths per 1000 live births (2021).
  • Between 2000 and 2019, the number of deaths caused by NCDs increased by more than one third, from 31 million lives lost to 41 million lives lost – almost 3 of every four deaths worldwide. Similarly, in 2000, NCDs caused 47% of global disability-adjusted life years (1.3 billion years); by 2019, NCDs caused 63% (1.6 billion years).
  • The four major NCDs, namely cardiovascular disease (17.9 million deaths), cancer (9.3 million deaths), chronic respiratory disease (4.1 million deaths) and diabetes (2.0 million deaths), collectively killed about 33.3 million people in 2019, a 28% increase compared to 2000.
  • The average life expectancy of a human born in 1950 was just 46.5 years. But by 2019, it had increased to 73 years.
  • In 2000, 61% of global deaths were due to NCDs. Another 31% were deaths from communicable, maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions (which we’ll refer to as the communicable group). By 2019, global deaths from NCDs had increased to 74%, while the communicable group had fallen to 18%. Deaths attributed to injuries remained roughly constant at around 8%.
  • Years of Life Lost (YLL) estimates show that a total of 336.8 million life-years have been lost globally due to COVID-19. And YLL is the highest globally in ages 55-64 years old, with a total of over 90 million years of life lost.


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