The State of the World's Children 2003
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Burkina aso/"imagine  - your photos will open my eyes"/GTZ/2002
Tables index > General note on the data and Explanation of symbols

General note on the data
The data presented in the following statistical tables are accompanied by definitions, sources and explanations of symbols. Data from the responsible United Nations agency have been used whenever possible. Where such internationally standardized estimates do not exist, the tables draw on other sources, particularly data received from the appropriate UNICEF field office. Where possible, only comprehensive or representative national data have been used.

Data quality is likely to be adversely affected for countries that have recently suffered from man-made or natural disasters. This is particularly so where basic country infrastructure has been fragmented or major population movements have occurred.

Several of the indicators, such as the data for life expectancy, total fertility rates and crude birth and death rates, are part of the regular work on estimates and projections undertaken by the United Nations Population Division. These and other internationally produced estimates are revised periodically, which explains why some of the data will differ from those found in earlier UNICEF publications.

A new statistical table has been introduced this year that provides data on HIV/AIDS and malaria. On HIV/AIDS, the table includes the prevalence and number of people living with HIV/AIDS, AIDS prevention and orphans. On malaria, the table includes the use of bednets and insecticide-treated bednets, as well as treatment of fever with appropriate anti-malarial drugs. Only countries where adult prevalence of HIV/AIDS is 1 per cent or higher and/or where 50 per cent or more of the population lives in malaria endemic areas are included.

In addition, changes have been made to tables 2 and 3. To better reflect the recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life, as stated in the World Fit for Children goal on infant feeding, the exclusive breastfeeding rates in table 2 have been recalculated for infants aged 0 to 6 months of age. Because these data include older infants, and exclusive breastfeeding tends to decline with age, the levels are lower than those previously reported for the younger, 0-to-4 months age range.

Data on immunization coverage for hepatitis B have been added to table 3. By 2002, 80 per cent of countries with adequate delivery systems are expected to have introduced the hepatitis B vaccine, and all countries by 2007.

Explanation of symbols
Since the aim of this statistics chapter is to provide a broad picture of the situation of children and women worldwide, detailed data qualifications and footnotes are seen as more appropriate for inclusion elsewhere. The following symbols are common across all tables; symbols specific to a particular table are included in the table footnotes:

-  Indicates data are not available.

x  Indicates data that refer to years or periods other than those specified in the column heading, differ from the standard definition, or refer to only part of a country. Such data are not included in the regional averages or totals.

*  Data refer to the most recent year available during the period specified in the column heading.