Age Distribution, Trends, and Forecasts of Under-5 Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa

Ivan Mejia , Stanford University
Wenyun Zuo, Stanford University
Eran Bendavid, Stanford University
Nan Li, United Nations
Shripad Tuljapurkar, Stanford University

This study assessed age patterns, trends, and forecasts of under-5 mortality rates in Sub-Saharan Africa, using data from 104 nationally-representative Demographic and Health Surveys with full-birth histories (FBH) from 31 countries (1990-2016). We estimated under-5 mortality profiles by age in a monthly basis using direct methods for FBH data. A variant of the Lee-Carter model, designed for populations with limited data, was used to fit and forecast age profiles of mortality. We used mortality estimates from the United Nations Inter-agency group for Child Mortality Estimation to adjust, validate and minimize the risk of bias in mortality estimation. Our findings revealed that countries with a rapid pace of mortality reduction across ages would be more likely to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal targets of child mortality reduction. Our model predicts that only 5 countries would reach those targets by 2030, 15 would achieve them between 2030 and 2050, and 11 afterwards.

See paper

 Presented in Session 5. Health & Mortality 1