Introducing the new Our World in Data child mortality series

Our World in Data presents the empirical evidence on global development in entries dedicated to specific topics.

This blog post draws on data and research discussed in our entry on Child & Infant Mortality.

Over the last months we were preparing a big new project on Our World in Data. We are working on a series that focuses on the deaths of children.

Child mortality – one of the most important aspects of development – has always been a focus for us, but in this new series we want to go beyond our previous work and publish a series of many posts, each of which focusing on a different aspect.

We think that the high mortality of children is one of the very worst and most urgent problems humanity faces today. And we also know that huge progress can be made in improving child health globally in the coming decades.

Child health is a good metric for the functioning of a society more broadly because it is difficult to keep children alive and many things have to go right to survive childhood. For much of our history death at young age was very common – in the past almost half died as children.

The three parts of the series

Our new series will encompass around two dozen posts on the topic.

  • A first group of posts will focus on the global development until today, so that we obtain an empirical perspective on how the mortality of children changed. In typical Our World in Data-style, we will try to go back in history as far as we can and give a global perspective by connecting development research with social history and historical demography.
  • The second part of the series will present the current global health research on the situation today. Where are children dying and what are children dying of today?
  • This is the basis for the third part of the project where we will focus on the biggest killers of children today. For each of the major killers of children we will review the academic literature to understand the most important question: What can we do about it?

A new structure of Our World in Data

This series also means a change in the way we publish research on Our World in Data. Until now we’ve mainly written long, continuous entries on the topics we focus on. We think it will be more helpful for our readers if we publish our work in shorter, self-contained posts that don’t try to answer everything at once and instead focus on answering one specific question at a time.

The idea then is that the shorter posts will sum up to the long, comprehensive entries so that viewed together you will have the big overview that you know from our existing entries.

Some posts for the new series are already out!

The rest of the series we will publish over the coming months. I hope you find it helpful to get a global perspective on where we are and where we can go next in one of the most important fights of our time.