Child Mortality Rate vs. Maternal Mortality Rate
The Global Indicators: A Framework for Progress
One of the best examples of global progress is the reduction in child deaths over the last 30 years. In the chart on the right, as death rates drop over time, countries are moving upwards toward the target. That dramatic movement exemplifies what is possible when the world comes together to take action. And now, fewer children are dying from preventable diseases like neonatal illnesses, pneumonia, and other infectious diseases.
Regions Tell a Different Story
But inequities still exist. Your chances of making it to your fifth birthday are greatly affected by where you were born. In the chart, countries in the same geographic region are grouped by color. Even within the same color grouping, some countries are progressing much faster than others. Take for example the country Laos, which cut its child mortality rate by more than half—twice. Child mortality dropped from 168 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 38 deaths in 2020.
Compared to the child mortality rate, the maternal mortality rate has not seen the same level of improvement. It is critical that women’s health needs are prioritized and for health systems to have all the resources they need to ensure that a woman can give birth safely and with dignity.
Explore the Indicators
Now that you’ve had a chance to compare two unique indicators, take a moment to explore each of the 18 indicators across different regions. And learn more about the global progress we’ve tracked annually.
A Malaria-Free China Paying It Forward
In June of this year, China celebrated a significant victory: It was declared malaria-free in the People’s Republic of China by the World Health Organization (WHO). In just seven decades, China went from 30 million cases a year to zero. The certification of malaria elimination in a country that is home to more than 1 billion people is credited to innovation, perseverance, and collaboration.
To achieve this milestone, China made a long-term investment in research and development, beginning with the grit and determination of a group of scientists led by Professor Tu Youyou. In 1972, Nobel Laureate Professor Tu and her team discovered a compound for malaria treatment called artemisinin. This drug was developed from the ether extractions of a herb common in Chinese traditional medicine. Professor Tu’s groundbreaking innovation started a ripple effect of scientific discovery for the treatment and cure of malaria—not just in China but around the world. Today, artemisinin-based combination therapies (also known as ACTs) are the worldwide standard malaria treatments under the WHO’s recommendation.
This diagram provides a snapshot of IHME’s three-part process and the data and methods used in each.
Period 1, 1990–2020
This is historical data drawn from thousands of sources around the world, backed by published evidence that has been checked and re-checked by global health researchers.
Period 2, 2021–2022
This is the period disrupted by the pandemic, and the most challenging period to assess given the uncertainty and immediacy of the data. Here IHME is using contemporary data gathered from surveys, mobility data of populations, administrative data from governments and the WHO, and COVID-19 case data in order to assess how the disruptions from the pandemic have affected progress on the Global Goals from 2020 to 2022.
Period 3, 2023–2030
This is trying to predict the future, using the past as a guide. IHME looked at how economic growth and progress has affected these indicators in the past and then projected possible trends for the future. So, if all countries make progress as well as the best historical performers (top 15%), the indicators will follow the green line. But if the economic trends are in line with the worst performers, the indicators will follow the red line.