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Deadly Cities? A Note on Spatial Inequalities in Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Harttgen, Kenneth
  • Günther, Isabel

In this paper we analyze if an 'urban mortality penalty' exists for today's developing countries, repeating the history of industrialized nations during the 19th century. We analyze the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) of 19 Sub-Saharan African countries for differences in child and adult mortality between rural and urban areas. Our findings indicate that child mortality is higher in rural areas for almost all countries. On average child mortality rates are 13.6 percent in rural areas and 'only' 10.8 percent in urban areas. In contrast, average urban adult mortality rates (on average 14.5 percent) have indeed exceeded rural adult mortality rates (on average 12.8 percent) in many of our sample countries in the 2000s. For many countries high child mortality pockets do, however, exist in slum areas within cities. Child mortality rates in slum areas are on average 1.65 times higher than in the formal settlements of cities, but still lower than in rural areas.

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 with number 39.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec11:39
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  1. Menno Pradhan & David E. Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2001. "Decomposing World Health Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-091/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Michael Kremer, 2007. "What Works in Fighting Diarrheal Diseases in Developing Countries? A Critical Review," NBER Working Papers 12987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Emmanuela Gakidou & Gary King, 2006. "Death by survey: Estimating adult mortality without selection bias from sibling survival data," Demography, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 569-585, August.
  4. Ian Timæus & Momodou Jasseh, 2004. "Adult mortality in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from demographic and health surveys," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 757-772, November.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521364805 is not listed on IDEAS
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