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Mortality rate is a measure of the number of deaths (in general, or due to a specific cause) in some population, scaled to the size of that population, per unit time. Mortality rate is typically expressed in units of deaths per 1000 individuals per year; thus, a mortality rate of 9.5 in a population of 100,000 would mean 950 deaths per year in that entire population. It is distinct from morbidity rate, which refers to the number of individuals who have contracted a disease during a given time period (the incidence rate) or the number who currently have that disease (the prevalence rate), scaled to the size of the population.
Note that the crude death rate as defined above and applied to a whole population of people can give a misleading impression. For example, the number of deaths per 1000 people can be higher for developed nations than in less-developed countries, despite standards of health being better in developed countries. This is because developed countries have relatively more older people, who are more likely to die in a given year, so that the overall mortality rate can be higher even if the mortality rate at any given age is lower. A more complete picture of mortality is given by a life table which summarises mortality separately at each age. A life table is necessary to give a good estimate of life expectancy.
Additional recommended knowledge
The ten countries with the highest infant mortality rate are:
According to the World Health Organization, the 10 leading causes of death in 2002 were:
Causes of death vary greatly between developed and developing countries. See List of causes of death by rate for worldwide statistics.
Factors affecting a country's death rate
Sources and references
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mortality_rate". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|