Field Detail
Theme Health
Code PH-VS-1.1
MDG code MDG-4.1
Sub-theme Vital Statistics
Name Under five mortality rate (MDG 4.1)
Definition Under‐five mortality rate is the probability of a child born in a specific year or period dying before reaching the age of five, if subject to age‐specific mortality rates of that period (deaths in children aged < 5 years divided by live births in the same period). Reported per 1000 live births per year.
Calculation/Formula (Deaths in children aged < 5 years / total live births for same period)* 1000
Unit of Measure Deaths per 1000 live births
Range (eg Age) Children aged <5 years
Assumptions Total or only by M/F – totals are more useful as there is little difference in exposures/ causes of death in these young age groups
Limitations Should be measured over 3 -5 year aggregate periods with 95% confidence intervals to minimise instability due to the small number of events. This measure frequently confused with age specific mortality for 0-5 years (using population rather than live births as the denominator). Limited historical data means that baseline data and targets may be unstable or unrealistic. This measure was not routinely calculated or widely used until the introduction of the MDG’s
Purpose/Rationale Under‐five mortality rate (and IMR) are leading indicators of the level of child health and overall development in countries. They also represent key MDG indicators. Under 5 mortality is a better indicator of the impact of environmental and social factors on child survival than IMR but is harder to measure accurately.
Policy Linkages MDG and National Development plans
Preferred Data Sources National Vital Registration System - (which has been verified for completeness) or National Health Information System
Alternative_Data Sources Indirectly: from censuses/ surveys (questions on infants deaths in last 12 months, and application of life‐table analysis). Census and HH surveys (5‐10 year intervals).
Census - HIES - DHS tag Census/DHS
Primary Data Collection System National Administrative Database - Health Information Management Systems (HIS)
Frequency of Data Collection Annual (aggregated over multiple years) if from vital registration data/ 5-10 years if from Census
Other agencies countries_ must report to: CHIPS
SPC Responsibility - Data Management SDP
Comments / Regional Trend Analysis As countries improve vital statistics and civil registration systems, there may be some increases in published measures of mortality (such as IMR) due to improvements in reporting rather than a true increase in mortality rate. Care must be taken in inter
SPC Programme PHD
Numerator Deaths in children aged <5 years
Denominator Total live births for same period
Factor x 1000
Other Metadata Link http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Metadata.aspx