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Mortality rate

Mortality rate is the annual number of deaths per 1000 people.

One distinguishes

  1. The crude death rate, the total annual number of deaths per 1000 people.
  2. 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:

  1. Angola 192.50
  2. Afghanistan 165.96
  3. Sierra Leone 145.24
  4. Mozambique 137.08
  5. Liberia 130.51
  6. Niger 122.66
  7. Somalia 118.52
  8. Mali 117.99
  9. Tajikistan 112.10
  10. Guinea-Bissau 108.72
Source CIA World Factbook 2004

See also

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