Click here for search results

Site Tools

Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality


 Goal 4
  • Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate


Infant mortality rate:
Deaths per 1,000 live births (2007)
Infant Mortality
Click to enlarge image: GIF (61 KB) | PDF (2.3 MB)

Child mortality under five years of age:
Deaths per 1,000 (2007)
Child Mortality
Click to enlarge image: GIF (61 KB) | PDF (2.3 MB)


Prospects are worst for the MDGs relating to health, such as infant mortality. The under-five mortality rate in developing countries declined from 101 deaths per 1,000 live births to 74 between 1990 and 2007. This is notable progress but insufficient to meet the MDG 4 target to reduce under-five mortality by two-thirds. In 2006, 10 million children died before age five from preventable diseases, down from 13 million in 1990.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic and civil conflicts have impeded Sub-Saharan Africa’s progress. Its under-five mortality rate was still 144 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2008, although down from 185 in 1990. Sub-Saharan Africa has 20 percent of the world’s children under age five but 50 percent of all child deaths. Progress in reducing infant mortality is also well short of the target in South Asia.


MDG 4 Outlook

 While all the regions have made progress in reducing the under-five mortality rate, the developing world is not on track to meet this MDG. In the post-crisis trend, for the period from 2009 to the end of 2015, an estimated 1.2 million additional deaths may occur among children under five due to crisis-related causes. In 2015 alone, an estimated 260,000 additional deaths may occur among children under five.

Figure 4.2 MDG 4
Click to enlarge image: GIF (20 KB) | PDF (86 KB)

Table 4.2 MDG 4
Click to enlarge image: GIF (14 KB) | PDF (133 KB)

Footnote: GMR2010 analyzes risks to the MDGs under three alternate scenarios for GDP growth in developing countries after the financial crisis:

  • The post-crisis trend assumes a relatively rapid economic recovery in 2010, with strong growth continuing into the future. This is the report’s base case forecast.
  • The pre-crisis (high growth) trend gives the forecast path for the MDGs if developing countries had continued their impressive growth performance during 2000–07, the period just before the global economic crisis. The impact of the crisis on the MDGs can thus be measured by comparing the post-crisis trend scenario with this one.
  • The low growth scenario assumes that things that got worse because of the crisis will remain so in the medium run. There is little or no growth for about 5 years, and growth recovers slowly thereafter.


Permanent URL for this page: