Time Machine Post: Factfulness

I talk about data all the time. It’s the basis for my whole worldview to be honest, the Scientific Method, Francis Bacon, all that. The path to objective reality, such as it is. With all the negativity it’s important to stay focused on the data, and it’s positive. One of the most important measures of how a population is faring is how many children make it to their fifth year. Here are the actual facts, not the drama.

Child mortality is decreasing globally. The global under-5 mortality rate (U5MR) has fallen by 59%, from 93 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 38 in 2021. This is equivalent to 1 in 26 children dying before reaching age 5 in 2021, compared to 1 in 11 in 1990.

There are a number of factors that have contributed to this decline in child mortality, including:

  • Improved access to healthcare: More children now have access to basic healthcare services, such as immunizations, clean water, and sanitation.
  • Reduced poverty: Poverty is a major risk factor for child mortality. As poverty has declined in many countries, child mortality has also declined.
  • Increased awareness of child health issues: There is now a greater awareness of the importance of child health, and this has led to more investment in child health programs.

However, child mortality is still a major problem in many parts of the world. In 2021, 5 million children under the age of 5 died, mostly from preventable causes. The highest rates of child mortality are found in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

There are a number of challenges that need to be addressed in order to further reduce child mortality. These challenges include:

  • Access to healthcare: Even though access to healthcare has improved in many countries, there are still large numbers of children who do not have access to basic healthcare services.
  • Poverty: Poverty is still a major risk factor for child mortality. In order to further reduce child mortality, it is important to reduce poverty in the world.
  • Conflict: Conflict is a major cause of child mortality. In countries that are affected by conflict, children are more likely to die from violence, malnutrition, and disease.

Despite these challenges, there is still hope for reducing child mortality. With continued investment in child health programs and efforts to reduce poverty and conflict, it is possible to achieve the goal of a world where no child dies from preventable causes.