Mortality in the Past: Every Second Child died

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
May 02, 2023 | World In Data

In the richest parts of the world child deaths have become very rare, but differences across countries remain high. Somalia, where 14 percent of newborns die as children, is the country with the highest rate. Studies focusing on the Neanderthals who lived in Eurasia from circa 400 000 until 40 000 years ago, suggest that they suffered infant mortality rates like those of our species before modernization: an estimated 28 percent died in the first year of life. This World In Data map represents mortality up to the age of 15. In several countries the rate has declined to about 0.3 percent, a mortality rate that is more than 100-times lower than in the past. This was achieved in just a few generations. The fact that several countries show that 99.7 percent of children survive shows what the world can aspire to.

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