Half the Number of Kids Die Before Age Five Now Than Did In 1990

Global life expectancy up more than six years too.


Africa Vaccinates

The folks over at Wired are reporting the good news that kids around the world are much less likely to die before age 5 than they were in 1990. This happy conclusion is based on data derived from a January study in The Lancet on the global burden of disease. The Lancet reported that 7,608,500 kids died in 1990 before reaching their fifth birthday. That number had dropped to 3,665,700 in 2013, a decline of more than 52 percent. Why? Mostly because fewer kids are dying from various communicable diseases and starvation. The Wired article points out that there are vaccines against many of the diseases now in retreat. I suspect that improved nutrition also enables some kids to fight off infections better.

The good news on mortality is not just limited to kids; more people are surviving in every age group. The overall age adjusted death rate has fallen from 1,160 per 100,000 in 1990 to 880 per 100,000 in 2013, a decline of about 24 percent. As result of these trends, global life expectancy for both sexes increased from 65.3 years in 1990, to 71.5 years in 2013. Keep in mind that global life expectancy in 1900 was just 31 years. L'Chaim!