How Has the Child Mortality Rate Changed?

The worldwide mortality rate for children younger than 5 years old decreased by 40% from 1990 to 2010, even in areas where the local economy did not improve. Global education programs emphasizing vaccines, family planning, nutrition and sanitation went into effect in 1985 and are thought to be a major key in reducing children's deaths from preventable conditions, such as diarrhea, pneumonia or malnutrition. A demand in increased government spending for accessible healthcare is also thought to be a component in treating deadly childhood diseases before they progress.

More about the worldwide decrease in child mortality:

  • Global health initiatives tend to focus on advocating education for young girls, because higher education levels in females have been found to correlate with waiting to start childbearing and with having fewer, but healthier, children later in life.

  • Although the worldwide child mortality rate has dropped, the rate of chronic diseases — such as diabetes and hypertension — in adults has risen.

  • Kuwait, Tonga and Zimbabwe were the only countries where the child mortality rate did not decrease from 1990 to 2010.

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