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A Child Survival Report Card: Number 1, 2004 View All Reports >
Chart: Key risk factors in selected countries
Progress in reducing child deaths in Latin America and the Caribbean has been substantial in the past 40 years

In 1960, 153 out of every 1,000 children did not make it to their fifth birthday; by 2002, that figure was 34.

Unlike most other regions, Latin America and the Caribbean was able to maintain a steady pace of reduction during the 1990s, posting an annual reduction rate of 4 per cent over the course of the decade. No other region managed to maintain an average annual reduction rate of 3 per cent or above in that period.

Despite these advances, there is still much work to do to reach levels approaching those of industrialized countries, where the probability of a child dying before the age of five is less than 1 per cent.

Brazil, the country with the largest child population in the region, is on schedule to meet the MDG, having managed to reduce child deaths by just under 4.3 per cent between 1990-2002.

Although Mexico’s average annual rate of reduction was smaller, at 3.8 per cent, it was from a lower base, leaving the U5MR at just 29 per 1,000 live births – the lowest rate among developing countries with populations in excess of 100 million. If this rate is maintained, Mexico will meet MDG 4.

The countries of Central America (with the exception of Costa Rica) and the impoverished countries of northern South America, Guyana and Suriname, are among those with the highest rates of child mortality in the region.

Infant mortality is also high in Bolivia, despite the fact that it remains on schedule to meet the MDG. Haiti is the only country in the region where child mortality is greater than 1 in 10.

Progress on reducing child deaths stalled in Jamaica during the 1990s. The country, which suffered a prolonged recession, is the only one in the hemisphere that failed to register a reduction in U5MR. Without a near doubling of effort, it will not meet MDG 4.

LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN
CountryU5MR 1990U5MR 2002MDG target(a) 2015Progress(b) 1990-2002Requirement 2002-2015
Jamaica 20 20 7 0.0 8.4
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 26 25 9 0.3 8.1
Barbados 16 14 5 1.1 7.5
Suriname 48 40 16 1.5 7.0
Trinidad and Tobago 24 20 8 1.5 7.0
Paraguay 37 30 12 1.7 6.9
Haiti 150 123 50 1.7 6.9
Belize 49 40 16 1.7 6.9
Venezuela 27 22 9 1.7 6.9
Guyana 90 72 30 1.9 6.7
Saint Lucia 24 19 8 1.9 6.7
Panama 34 25 11 2.6 6.1
Honduras 59 42 20 2.8 5.8
Cuba 13 9 4 3.1 5.7
Grenada 37 25 12 3.3 5.5
Argentina 28 19 9 3.2 5.5
Saint Kitts and Nevis 36 24 12 3.4 5.3
Dominica 23 15 8 3.6 5.1
Costa Rica 17 11 6 3.6 5.1
El Salvador 60 39 20 3.6 5.1
Chile 19 12 6 3.8 5.0
Colombia 36 23 12 3.7 5.0
Mexico 46 29 15 3.8 4.9
Uruguay 24 15 8 3.9 4.8
Guatemala 82 49 27 4.3 4.5
Brazil 60 36 20 4.3 4.5
Nicaragua 68 41 23 4.2 4.5
Bolivia 120 71 40 4.4 4.4
Dominican Republic 65 38 22 4.5 4.3
Bahamas 29 16 10 5.0 3.8
Ecuador 57 29 19 5.6 3.3
Antigua and Barbuda - 14 - -
Peru 80 39 27 6.0 2.9
 

Countries whose AARR has matched or exceeded the implied MDG target in 1990-2002 are shown as shaded.


(a)

Millennium Development Goal 4 set each country the task of reducing the under-five child mortality rate by two thirds between 1990 and 2015.


(b)

The speed of progress in reducing the U5MR is measured here by calculating the average annual reduction rate (AARR). Unlike the comparison of absolute changes, the AARR reflects the fact that the lower limits to U5MR are approached only with increasing difficulty. The AARR is calculated on an exponential basis, which assumes a continuous, exponential reduction between two points in time. It does not take into account the intermediate values of the series. To achieve a two-thirds reduction between 1990 and 2015 requires a progress rate of 4.4 per cent or higher.

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