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Child mortality is falling

With better economic growth and better living conditions, child mortality has fallen dramatically.
© Adam Smith Center, Singapore

Significantly, child mortality has fallen dramatically.

This means that parents will engage in less ‘child replacement’ (Parents who experience the death of a child might deliberately pursue an additional birth to ‘replace’ the dead child) and ‘child hoarding’ (a family deciding to have more births than their desired number of children to protect themselves against the possibility of future mortality in the family). In an environment with high child mortality, women will give birth to more children than they want to buffer against the loss of children.

The following graph illustrates this clearly.

Graph showing the average number of children vs. child mortality in 2019 across the world. Child mortality measures the share of children that die before their fifth birthday.Click to expand

Source: Our World in Data

© Adam Smith Center, Singapore
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