Spatio-Temporal Trends of Infant Mortality in Brazil

Marcia C. Castro, Harvard University
Celso Simoes, Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e EstatĂ­stica (IBGE)

Infant mortality in Brazil has declined appreciably: 79.7% during 1970-2005. These declines do not necessarily indicate that inequalities in infant mortality were equally reduced. We investigate spatio-temporal trends in infant mortality between 1980-2005, utilizing indirectly estimated IMRs for micro-regions. Inequality was assessed through: (i) ratios that compare extremes in IMR (a measure of relative gap in the regional distribution), and (ii) concentration index, considering the municipal GDP as an income indicator, and IMR as the health variable. Clustering patterns of IMR and of the relative change in IMR were assessed through local Moran’s Ii. Our analysis demonstrates that the clustering pattern of IMRs remained roughly unchanged over time. However, the spatial pattern of changes in IMR was dramatically transformed during the 2000-2005 period, when significant reductions were clustered in poorest areas. Declines in IMR were not accompanied by reductions in inequality, with infant deaths disproportionally concentrated in poorest areas.

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Presented in Session 32: Statistical, Spatial, and Network Methods