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Infant Mortality rate in the World: Magnitude, inequities and trends

on Thu, 02/28/2013 - 04:39

Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4) sets out to reduce the under-five mortality rate by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. Under-five mortality rate also includes two important components: Neonatal and Infant Mortality. These key public health indicators are being monitored at global, regional and country levels as part of the world leaders and governments commitment to reach MDG 4.

This article focus on Infant Mortality rate per 1,000 live birth, visualizing its magnitude and trends by countries and highlighting inequities among regions and countries. Estimates of Infant Mortality rates from The United Nations Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN-IGME), published in the report "Levels and Trends in Child Mortality" were used as data source. Data is available at Child Mortality Estimates CME Info website.
Infant mortality depends on many factors such as health services, education, rights, security and environment. It reveal the quality of life of the family, fundamentally the mother's quality of life, access to health services, good nutrition. Infant death also reveals inequity in deprived population groups.
The data visualization below display the magnitude of the infant death rate per 1,000 live birth by countries of the world in a choropleth map for an specific year, by default 2011. Use the slider to change the year. Selecting countries in the map, by clicking on them or click-drag-drop, will highlight the country values on the box plot and the line chart.
Beneath the map, a box plot chart display countries grouped by regions and years. Every country is represented by a circle which size is proportional to the number of deaths in less that 1 years old. The box plot highlights inequities of infant mortality rate among regions and countries and the progress over time. Click on any country (cilcle) or click-drag-drop to select some of them in order to identify theri specific situation on the map and trends.
At the bottom, a line chart display the trends of infant mortality rate by country. A color code was used to identify countries by regions. Hovering the mouse over lines will display detailed data such as death rate for a year and the country trend line for comparison purpose.   


  • Countries of the world has made substantial progress reducing the infant mortality rate 
  • The highest rates of infant mortality are still in Sub-Saharan Africa, Africa labled as AFRO
  • Infant mortality rate are highly concentrated in Sub-Sahara Africa, AFRO and Southern Asia,  SEARO, while the shape in the rest of the world dropped drastically
  • There are still high inequities in infant mortality rate among regions and among countries within regions
  • However, inequities has decreased progressively from 1970 to 2010
I invite readers to interact  with and explore the data visualization to get insights on infant death in the world.
Your comments are welcome.

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