Neonatal Mortality Worldwide

By Ross Perez 22 Nov, 2009

Thanks to the Guardian data blog, I recently downloaded an eye-opening data set detailing the health of the world's children. Sourced from UNICEF, the data highlights income and health disparities across the globe. Click or highlight a specific area to see a country in more detail. Clicking on Afghanistan reveals that 60 out of every 1000 children will die before they reach their first month, and even more alarming - over one quarter will die before they reach age 5.

By selecting a continent, I can gain a very quick understanding of the overall trend through the graph on the right. Africa, has improved greatly over the past 10 years, with several exceptions.

Download the data set here.


Submitted by Dan Murray (not verified) on


Very interesting data. I want to work with this data set and correlate it to things like GDP and relative freedom of the country in question.

This sort of sorry state of affairs begs the question, why? The broad generalization is poor country = higher child mortality. But what causes countries to be poor over decades? Why do some countries pull themselves out of poverty while other languish for decades?

Hans Rosling's Ted presentation indicated that health was a necessary prerequisite to economic prosperity. I think that "rule of law" has to precede both. Perhaps over the Thanksgiving Holiday I'll work with what you've started here to build on these other aspects of the story.

This is a thought provoking visualization. Nice work!

Submitted by Ross Perez on


Thanks as always for your comments. I have the same frustration about this data as you, seeing such a complete disparity between Africa/South Asia and the rest of the world. I agree with your statements about the rule of law and economic development but perhaps there is something more fundamental that must come before internal problem solving: peace.

I am interested to hear about your findings.

non-humans click here