Infant Mortality, SDG - what the data says

Infant mortality.  What does the data say? In a series of thoughts on what human development data is suggesting, I examine the good, the bad and what might be missing.

Infant Mortality rate is measure per 1,000 live births. It measures  the number of deaths of children under one year.  Many factors contribute to infant mortality, such as the mother's level of education, environmental conditions, and political and medical infrastructure. Medically, Premature birth is the big contributor with other leading causes birth asphyxia, pneumonia, and term birth complications.

It would come under #SDG Goal 3 and is often considered a measure of human development.

The good news the world average has been cut in half over the last 25 years from50 to 24. The bad news is that still leaves many poorer nations still a far ways off the richer nations. There is the opportunity to accelerate here. Tunisia goes from 44 to 12 during this time.  Brazil goes from 51 to 15.

The US improves but the pace of its improvement lags many other developed nations. Slovenia improves faster. Slovakia over takes the US. This pattern is reflected in many other indicators suggesting that on many measures the US is slipping.  The UK joins the US in slipping in the HDI (Human Development Index), but not on this measure.

I’ll come to systemic risks such as climate change and forced mass migration in future thoughts, but looking at these patterns and some of the underlying drivers (improved health and education) there are reasons to be optimistic that we should still see improvements over the next decade, although my sense is that the US is likely to continue to slip or stall relative to its peers.

Sources:    see  also I’m a fan of Hans Rosling’s works, his legacy can been seen here   and his TedTalk here  (11.9m views)

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