Adult mortality trends reveal massive rise in global inequalities
Women’s health is improving faster than men’s, and high-income countries such as the US trail countries that spend less on health care, including Costa Rica, Tunisia, and Albania
- The lowest risk of death in adults was recorded in Iceland (men) and Cyprus (women).
- Mortality rates for men and women in 37 countries are higher in 2010 than they were in 1990.
- Eastern Europe has seen one of the largest public health reversals of modern times. Russia has fallen from a rank of 43rd place for female mortality in 1970 to 121st.
- Since 2005, sub-Saharan Africa has seen strong mortality declines, a possible result of efforts to prevent new HIV infections and to treat AIDS patients with antiretroviral drugs.
- South Asia, and India in particular, had among the highest female mortality in the world in 1970. Both the region and the country have seen major declines. In 2010, it is better to be a woman in India than it was to be a man in the US in 1997.
- The list of countries with the lowest adult mortality has changed greatly. Only three – Sweden, the Netherlands, and Norway – remained in the top 10 for male mortality between 1970 and 2010.
Data and Methods
Table 1. Mortality trends measured as the probability of death between the ages of 15 years and 60 years (45q15) per 1,000, from 1970 to 2010 (70KB xls)
Data for download. Adult mortality by country and sex, 1970-2008 (673KB xls)
For additional information, visit our Global Health Data Exchange (GHDx). The GHDx includes data records with information on more than 200 countries.
Related Visualizations & other Tools
Related Publications & Presentations
Rajaratnam JK, Marcus JR, Levin-Rector A, Chalupka AN, Wang H, Dwyer L, Costa M, Lopez AD, Murray CJL. Worldwide mortality in men and women aged 15–59 years from 1970 to 2010: a systematic analysis. The Lancet. 2010 Apr 30; 375:1704–1720.