It also shows that survival rates for the first four weeks of life have been slow to improve.
The study, which covers 193 countries and was led by the World Health Organization (WHO), shows that while there are improvements, progress is slow and Africa is lagging behind.
According to the findings, newborn deaths decreased overall from 4.6 million in 1990 to 3.3 million in 2009, but have been falling slightly faster since 2000.
The results also show that deaths of babies in their first four weeks of life now account for 41% of all child deaths before the age of five.
This figure has grown from 37% in 1990 and is expected to increase further, researchers claim.
Flavia Bustreo of WHO, who worked on the study, said newborn survival is being left behind ‘despite well-documented, cost-effective solutions to prevent these deaths’.
The study found that almost 99% of newborn and neonatal deaths occur in the developing world and half of all deaths occur in just five countries - India, Nigeria, Pakistan, China and Democratic Republic of Congo.
However, babies in Afghanistan face the greatest risks, with one in 19 dying in the first month of life.
Joy Lawn, of the charity Save The Children, who also worked on the study, said: ‘We know that solutions as simple as keeping newborns warm, clean and properly breastfed can keep them alive.
‘But many countries are in desperate need of more and better-trained frontline health workers to teach these basic lifesaving practices.
‘Training more midwives and more community health workers will allow many more lives to be saved.’
The study was carried out by researchers from the WHO, Save The Children and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
It has been published in the Public Library of Science
journal and can be viewed in full here