The infant mortality rate in England and Wales dropped by 3 percent between 2007 and 2008, the Office for National Statistics has confirmed.
In 2008 there were 3.2 deaths in infants under 28 days per 1,000 live births in England and Wales, compared with 3.3 deaths in 2007, figures from the ONS show.
According to World Health Organization statistics the neonatal mortality rate in the UK is similar to that in Germany, Canada and Australia, slightly lower than in the US and Ireland, and slightly higher than in France.
The highest rate of neonatal deaths in England is in the north west with 3.5 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2008. The lowest rate is in the south east coast region with 2.7 deaths per 1,000.