Mortality rate is the annual number of deaths per 1000 people.
- The crude death rate, the total annual number of deaths per 1000 people.
- The infant mortality rate, the annual number of deaths of children less than 1 year old per thousand live births.
Note that the crude death rate as defined above and applied to a whole population can give a misleading impression. For example, the number of deaths per 1000 people can be higher for developed nations than in less-developed countries, despite standards of health being better in developed countries. This is because developed countries have relatively more older people, who are more likely to die in a given year, so that the overall mortality rate can be higher even if the mortality rate at any given age is lower. A more complete picture of mortality is given by a life table which summarises mortality separately at each age. A life table is necessary to give a good estimate of life expectancy.
The ten countries with the highest infant mortality rate are:
- Angola 192.50
- Afghanistan 165.96
- Sierra Leone 145.24
- Mozambique 137.08
- Liberia 130.51
- Niger 122.66
- Somalia 118.52
- Mali 117.99
- Tajikistan 112.10
- Guinea-Bissau 108.72
- Source CIA World Factbook 2004