This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Infant Mortality Rate Continues its World Wide Decline

The demographic transition has historically been put into motion by the ability of children to stay alive longer. This obviously is not something that infants do on their own. They need a bit of help from adults and in today's world UNICEF leads the charge in globally promoting the survival of children. Their success was heralded this week in their report estimating that:
The annual number of under-five deaths fell from 12.6 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012. But much faster progress is needed to reduce preventable diseases that cause child mortality.
You get the point--let's not believe that the war is over just because we are currently winning the battle. The Bill and Melinda Gates has also been solidly behind this effort, as Melinda Gates pointed out:
Two of my passions are child health and statistics. So I look forward to mid-September every year, to the day when UNICEF reports how many fewer children died the previous year.
Every single year—for at least the last 50 years—the number has gone down. Every. Single. Year.
I challenge you to name something else that gets better on that kind of schedule. The stock market goes up and down. Sprinters keep getting faster, but they don’t set new records every year. The 100 meter record set in 1968 didn’t get broken until 1983.
Meanwhile, the child mortality record set in 1968 got broken in 1969. And 1970. And 1971. And so on.
Keep in mind that we’re talking about the most important statistic in the world—who is alive.
Of course, declining infant mortality means higher rates of population growth unless fertility declines proportionately, and UNICEF is also the UN agency promoting birth control around the world, and to her credit, Melinda Gates also joined this campaign last year, as I noted at the time.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Prof Weeks, two interesting articles here with issues related to demography and religion which I thought you might find of interest:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/september/christians-credit-rating-slikker-protestant-work-ethic.html

    and

    http://www.religionnews.com/2013/09/24/years-decline-catholics-see-rise-number-future-priests/

    Salam,

    Abu Daoud

    ReplyDelete