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:

Friday, May 2, 2014

Child Mortality Declining--Mostly

Today's Lancet features two articles from the Global Burden of Disease project at the Institute for Health Metrics at the University of Washington. One of the articles focuses on child mortality and the other on maternal mortality (related to Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5). Overall, the news was good. Deaths rates among children under 5 have been going down in most areas of the world, although there is still wide, and predictable, regional variation. They range from a high of 152.5 deaths under age 5 per 1,000 live births in Guinea-Bissau to 2.3 in Singapore. The news was not happy for the United Kingdom, however, as BBC News reported. Although child mortality is still very low by world standards, nonetheless:
In 2013, the mortality rate for under-fives in the UK was 4.9 deaths per 1,000. Poverty and smoking in pregnancy are two of many factors cited by experts.
...the UK had worse rates than nearly every other western European nation for early neonatal deaths - between zero and six days, post-neonatal deaths (death between 29 and 364 days), and for childhood deaths (death between one and four years). The UK's rate is comparable with Serbia and Poland.
The fact that poverty is put forth as a key reason for the UK's higher than expected child mortality rates is, of course, a reminder that poverty is pervasive in those parts of the world, especially Africa, where rates are globally the highest.

No comments:

Post a Comment