Prematurity statistics in the UK

Baby in hospital looking at mum

View our statistics on the number of babies born premature in the UK and some information about the long term outcomes for these babies.

How many babies are born prematurely in the UK?

We estimate that around 60,000 babies are born prematurely in the UK every year.

This means that 1 in every 13 babies born in the UK will be born premature (before 37 weeks of pregnancy).

Not all of these babies will need to be cared for in a neonatal unit. Many babies born prematurely will be born late preterm (at 34-36 weeks of pregnancy), and some of these may not need specialist care on a neonatal unit.

What are the long term outcomes for babies born premature?

It is important to remember that every baby is different and will develop differently.

As some babies who were born prematurely develop into children and adults, they may suffer from conditions such as behavioural difficulties, long term health problems or cerebral palsy. Some research has also found that the earlier a baby is born the higher their risk of having special educational needs at school.

If you are worried about your baby’s development please speak to a health professional.

The financial and psychological impact of having a premature or sick baby

Read about Bliss' research into the financial and psychological impact on families of having a premature or sick baby.
Read more
Mum and dad looking down at baby while mum caresses baby's face

Download references

Download the reference list for statistics on this page