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Life Expectancy
Complete these exercises with information from Chart 2.

Chart 2 Exercises with Answers

Chart 2. Infant Mortality Rate, 1980 and 1998 (deaths per 1,000 live births)

1. Look at Chart 2 and answer the following questions:

  1. What was the infant mortality rate for low-income countries in 1998? [68 deaths per 1,000 live births]
  2. What was the infant mortality rate for high-income countries in 1998? [6 deaths per 1,000 live births]
  3. How much more likely is it for a newborn baby to die within its first year in a low-income country versus a high-income country? [Approximately 11 times (divide 68 by 6)] Why do you think this is the case? [Answers will vary. People in high-income countries have much better access to nutritious food, quality pre- and post-natal health care, and sanitary living conditions. In addition, most women in high-income countries are educated and better prepared to provide the best care for their families.]

2. Look at the table below and then answer the questions.

Infant Mortality Rate
per 1000 Live Births
Number of Infant
Country A 1,160,000,000 31 575,360
Country B 6,000,000 6 792
Country C 16,900,000 134 92,840

  1. What country had the lowest infant mortality rate in 1998? [Country B]
  2. Which country had the most infant deaths in 1998? [Country A]
  3. What country can you assume has high life expectancy at birth? [Country B] Why? [It has the lowest infant mortality rate.]
  4. What is the difference between "infant mortality rate per 1000 live births" and "number of infant deaths"? [The first is a rate per 1000, while the second is a straight number.]
  5. Why is "infant mortality rate per 1000 live births" a better statistic to use than "number of infant deaths" for comparing countries than "number of infant deaths"? [Using "per 1000 live births" provides the same standard (1000 live births) for comparing infant deaths for all countries regardless of the total populations or total number of infant deaths.]
  6. Based on the table, what country faces the greatest challenge in increasing its life expectancy rate at birth? [Although Country A has the most infant deaths, Country C has more than four times as many deaths per 1000 live births as Country A. Therefore, Country C probably faces the greatest challenges in increasing its life expectancy rate at birth since infant mortality rates strongly influence overall life expectancy.]

3. If more newborn babies lived, what might be the effect on each of the following? Give reasons for your responses. [Answers will vary.]

  1. The number of productive adults in 15 or 20 years
  2. The attitudes of parents about having children
  3. School enrollment in five or six years
  4. The need for jobs in 15 or 20 years
  5. Attitudes toward family planning
  6. A family's educational costs
  7. A family's need for food
  8. A country's need for food
Explore Chart 2:

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