WHO releases World Health Statistics 2017 (17 May 2017)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released its flagship report- World Health Statistics, today.

Key Messages:

This year, the report focuses on monitoring health for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The report is divided into three parts:

In Part 1, six lines of action are described which WHO is now promoting to help build better systems for health and to achieve the health and health-related SDGs.

In Part 2, the status of selected health-related SDG indicators is summarized, at both global and regional level, based on data available as of early 2017.

Part 3 then presents a selection of stories that highlight recent successful efforts by countries to improve and protect the health of their populations through one or more of the six lines of action.

Annexes A and B present country level estimates for selected health-related SDG indicators.

Selected excerpts from the report are provided below:


Target 3.1 By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births

  • About 830 women died every day due to complications of pregnancy or childbirth in 2015.

Reducing the maternal mortality ratio from 216 per 100 000 live births in 2015 to less than 70 per 100 000 by 2030 will require more than tripling the average annual rate of decline between 1990 and 2015.

Target 3.2: By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1000 live births

  • In 2015, the global neonatal mortality rate was 19 per 1000 live births and the under-five mortality rate in 2015 was 43 per 1000 live births, representing declines of 37% and 44% respectively from 2000.

Target 3.3: By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases

  • An estimated 2.1 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2015, 35% lower than the number newly infected in 2000 (about 3.2 million).
  • There were an estimated 212 million malaria cases globally in 2015. About 60% of the population at risk had access to an insecticide-treated net 2015, compared to 34% in 2010.

Target 3.4: By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.

  • The probability of dying from diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and chronic lung disease between ages 30 and 70 is 19%, a 17% decline from 2000. Still, the total number of deaths from noncommunicable diseases is increasing due to population growth and ageing.
  • Almost 800 000 deaths by suicide occurred in 2015, with the highest rate in the WHO European Region (14.1 per 100 000 population) and the lowest rate in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (3.8 per 100 000).

Target 3.5: Strengthen prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol

  • The global level of alcohol consumption in 2016 was 6.4 litres of pure alcohol per person aged 15 years or older.
  • In 2015, more than 1.1 billion people smoked tobacco.

Target 3.6: By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents

  • About 1.25 million people died from road traffic injuries in 2013, a 13% increase from 2000.
  • Road traffic injuries are the main cause of death for people aged 15-29 years.

Target 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

  • Ten measures of essential health service coverage have improved since 2000. For example, 49% of people with TB are now detected and treated, compared with 23% in 2000, and 86% of children receive three doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, up from 72% in 2000.
  • Recent data from 117 countries show that an average of 9.3% of people in each country spend more than 10% of their household budget on health care.


Target 2.2: By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons

  • 22.9% of children under 5 stunted (too short for their age), ranging from 6.1% in the European region to 33.8% in the Southeast Asian region.
  • 6.0% of children under 5 were overweight, ranging from 4.1% in the African region to 12.8% in the European region.

Target 7.1: By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services

  • In 2014, 57% of the world’s population were reliant primarily on clean fuels, ranging from 16% in the African Region to more than 95% in the European Region

Target 16.1: Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere

  • In 2015 there were an estimated 468,000 murders, ranging from 1.7 per 100 000 in the Western Pacific region to 18.6 per 100 000 in the Region of the Americas.

Target 17.19: By 2030, build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries

  • In 2015 48% of deaths were registered with a cause of death, ranging from 5% of deaths in the African region to 95% in the European region.
  • Only half of WHO Member States register at least 80% of deaths with information on the cause of death.

Useful Links:

Link to the WHO news release regarding World Health Statistics 2017:


Link to the World Health Statistics 2017 (full report) (English) [PDF]:


Link to WHO’s Global Health Observatory page (contains links to data visualizations; allows for downloading of individual sections of the report):