Updated Sep 21, 2019

The promising decline in global child mortality

Chart depicting the number of under-five deaths cause of mortality

Graphics: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The number of children who die before the age of 5 has declined steadily around the world, as newborn mortality and cases of pneumonia have dropped, according to a report from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The big picture: Inequality between countries is decreasing across the globe, but the gaps remain sizable. The report indicates the most predictive factor about a child's future is where they are born.

What else they found:

  • Pneumonia is still a leading cause of child mortality, and only 3% of global research and development spending goes toward pneumonia. Fewer than half the world's children are vaccinated for the infection.
  • The decline in mortality among newborns has been slow, with almost half of all child deaths happening during the first 28 days of life.
  • Health and education increased in more than 99% of districts in developing countries during the past 17 years.
  • Gender inequality is present in every single country.
  • A child in Chad is still roughly 55 times more likely to die than a child in Finland.

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