Infant Mortality in China

According to the CIA fact book, China is ranked 111th in the world for infant mortality rate, with an infant mortality rate of 1.562 percent (all of the rates cited in this article refer to the 2012 predicted mortality rate). The U.S. is ranked 174th in the world, with an infant mortality rate of 0.598 percent. This means that the infant mortality rate between the U.S. and China differs by about 9 in 1000 births. For additional comparison, Afghanistan has the worst infant mortality rate in the world at 12.163%, while Monaco has the lowest at 0.18 percent. Given the range of 0.18-12.163, the infant mortality rate in China is not a whole lot different from that of the U.S. Government efforts in China to reduce infant mortality have made fairly substantial progress. The primary way in which their government is tackling infant mortality is by encouraging rural women to give birth at hospitals, and providing subsidies to provide for the journey to them. Plans are also underway to provide basic medical insurance coverage for 90 percent of the population. As a result of China’s efforts, their infant mortality rate has dropped 62 percent between 1996 and 2008. The largest hurdle China faces is in bringing more advanced facilities to urban residents, who receive subpar treatment when compared to their urban counterparts. Interestingly, the decrease in infant mortality has been more pronounced for males than for females, however the article which concludes this is from 1994 and I have only been able to locate the abstract to the article online. Overall it appears that China is having a fair amount of success in improving their infant mortality rate.

I had a hard time finding an anthropologist working in this specific field currently, but there are several Chinese anthropologists who were the front-runners for Anthropology in China during the early 20th Century, including Yang Zhicheng and Lin Huixiang. They focused on social surveys of the various ethnic groups in China.



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