01 September 2011

Infant Deaths Are Down; The Good News and The Bad News

The Good News: Global infant mortality rates are down from 4.6 million in 1990 to 3.3 million in 2009.

The Bad News: That still lags behind the MDG target of a 1/3 reduction by 2015. Additionally it will take the continent until 2166, at its current rate, to catch up with the developed world.

Question: How much of this reduction can be attributed to the global decline in birth rates? According to the UN, the birth rate for 1985-90 was 3.39 and 2.52 for 2005-2010. That is nearly one less person per mother. I am not a statistician, but part (maybe a very small percentage?) has to be attributed to this decline.

Bottom Line: There is reason to be happy, but more work needs to be done to move progress forward.

Graph via The Economist