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General note on maps

These maps illustrate a number of the many factors that shape a childís start in life. The selected indices capture some of the important elements that affect an infantís survival, growth and development. The maps do not include many psychosocial elements crucial for early childhood development. These elements are difficult to measure and the limited data that are available are not necessarily comparable across countries.

Data sources for illustrations are given on each map. As many countries as space allows have been included. Some island nations are surrounded by a box if an indicator may not otherwise be seen easily.

When the data on these maps are correlated, they show that negative conditions do not occur in isolation but, instead, cluster together with the same children being affected by multiple and simultaneous circumstances. These maps are graphic reminders of the effect of the absence or collapse of social service networks. However, the maps are ultimately positive as they also demonstrate the long-term benefits of social investment in the welfare of women and children.