Starting well

What happens in pregnancy and early childhood impacts on physical and emotional health all the way through to adulthood. Every child in Liverpool should be given the best start in life, with the crucial period starting from pregnancy to the age of two.

According to the latest population estimates there are 113,000 children and young people in Liverpool (aged 0-19 years) with 28,800 aged under 5 years. Children and young people account for 22.6% of the population of Liverpool with a fairly equal distribution of males and females (50.7% males and 49.3% females).

Key facts

  • In 2020, there were 5,183 live births in Liverpool (ONS, 2020). This means there were 555 fewer births to Liverpool mothers than a decade ago.
  • In Liverpool there are around 25 infant deaths (under 1 year) every year. There were 4.6 infant deaths per thousand live births in 2018 - 20, which was not significantly different to the England rate (3.9 per 1,000).
  • Some 2.36% of live births at term in 2020 had a low birthweight (defined as weighing under 2500g), which was similar to 2.86% reported nationally.
  • 575 (1 in 9) mothers in 2020/21 were recorded as being smokers at the time of the delivery of their baby, compared with 1 in 10 nationally.
  • 58.7% of Liverpool mothers initiated breastfeeding and only 37.7% were breastfeeding 6-8 weeks after the birth of their baby (England reported figures of 67.4% and 48% respectively).
  • Vaccination coverage in 2020/21 was generally below or similar to national benchmarks. Some 90.6% of two-year-olds in the city had been vaccinated for Dtap/IPV/Hib which was below the national average (93.8%).
  • Liverpool has a high rate of admissions for tooth decay in children aged 0-5 years, 2.5 times higher than England.
  • Only 64.9% of Liverpool children are ready for school at the end of their school reception year, significantly below the national level (71.8%) and the 2nd lowest in the country.
  • 26.8% of our children aged 4-5 years are either overweight or obese, significantly above the national average (23%).

Detailed needs assessments

In summer 2017 the following health needs assessments were published in relation to Early Years:

Liverpool information

Liverpool City Region

Office for Health Improvement and Disparities profiles