Maternal and child mortality indicators across 187 countries of the world: Converging or diverging

Srinivas Goli, Perianayagam Arokiasamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This study reassessed the progress achieved since 1990 in maternal and child mortality indicators to test whether the progress is converging or diverging across countries worldwide. The convergence process is examined using standard parametric and non-parametric econometric models of convergence. The results of absolute convergence estimates reveal that progress in maternal and child mortality indicators is diverging for the entire period of 1990-2010 [maternal mortality ratio (MMR) - β =.00033, p <.574; neonatal mortality rate (NNMR) - β =.04367, p <.000; post-neonatal mortality rate (PNMR) - β =.02677, p <.000; under-five mortality rate (U5MR) - β =.00828, p <.000)]. In the recent period, such divergence is replaced with convergence for MMR but diverged for all the child mortality indicators. The results of Kernel density estimate reveal considerable reduction in divergence of MMR for the recent period; however, the Kernel density distribution plots show more than one 'peak' which indicates the emergence of convergence clubs based on their mortality levels. For child mortality indicators, the Kernel estimates suggest that divergence is in progress across the countries worldwide but tended to converge for countries with low mortality levels. A mere progress in global averages of maternal and child mortality indicators among a global cross-section of countries does not warranty convergence unless there is a considerable reduction in variance, skewness and range of change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-360
Number of pages19
JournalGlobal Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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