Global Health Observatory (GHO)

Under-five mortality rate: inequality by place of residence

Situation

Inequality is shown by place of residence, reported in 49 low- and middle-income study countries, based on DHS data from the ten years prior to survey, 2005–2012.

Within low- and middle-income study countries, rural areas tended to report higher under-five mortality rates than urban areas. The median rates among rural and urban populations from study countries were 85 and 61 deaths per 1000 live births, respectively.

Under-five mortality rates tended to be higher in low-income countries than middle-income countries. The median under-five mortality rates in rural areas of low- and middle-income study countries were 110 and 57 deaths per 1000 live births, respectively; in urban areas of low- and middle-income study countries, rates were 82 and 49 deaths per 1000 live births, respectively.

Within both rural and urban areas, there was large inter-country variation in under-five mortality rates. In rural areas of low-income countries, under-five mortality rates ranged from 50 to 234 deaths per 1000 live births, and in urban areas under-five mortality rates ranged from 29 to 156 deaths per 1000 live births. In middle-income countries, the corresponding rates in rural areas ranged from 19 to 153 deaths per 1000 live births, and in urban areas, 13 to 131 deaths per 1000 live births.

Important considerations when interpreting the results:

  • The data were taken from surveys which were not conducted in the same year in all countries. Data reflect the situation in a country at the time of the survey which, naturally, is subject to change.
  • Estimates are subject to sample variability, typically indicated by confidence intervals. For the sake of readability, only point estimates are shown.

Trends

Changes in inequality are shown by place of residence, reported in 29 low- and middle-income study countries, based on DHS data from the ten years prior to survey, 1996–2002 and 2006–2012.

Under-five mortality rate tended to decrease in rural and urban areas between
1996–2002 and 2006–2012. During this period the median under-five mortality rate decreased from 126 to 84 deaths per 1000 live births in rural areas, and from 90 to 61 deaths per 1000 live births in urban areas.

The reduction in under-five mortality rate was particularly notable in rural areas of low-income countries, where the median under-five mortality rate decreased from 167 to 92 deaths per 1000 live births. All low-income study countries reported lower under-five mortality in rural areas in 2006–2012 than 1996–2002.

Important considerations when interpreting the results:

  • For trends, the period between two sequential surveys in each country is usually 10–12 years; however, this period ranges from six to 14 years.
  • Estimates are subject to sample variability, typically indicated by confidence intervals. For the sake of readability, only point estimates are shown.
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