An assessment of infant mortality rates in Colombia, 1980-2009
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Universidad del Valle
Infant mortalityTrendsVital StatisticsHealth Information SystemColombiaRegional Difference
Jaramillo, Marta Cecilia, Chernichovsky, Dov, & Jiménez Moleón, José Juan. (2019). An assessment of infant mortality rates in Colombia, 1980-2009. Colombia Médica, 50(4), 275-285. [https://dx.doi.org/10.25100/cm.v50i4.2205]
SponsorshipResearch Resources Icesi University
Purpose. The infant mortality rate (IMR) is a key indicator of human welfare and development. However, in Colombia, the Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística (DANE) has set the registered rate for 2009 as 13.69 per 1,000 live births, while the estimated rate is 20.13, suggesting the presence of inconsistencies in the data, as in many other transitional economies. This paper aims to set the record straight on Colombia’s IMR reporting since 1980 by using all available data that have recently become public. Methodology. The study analyzes 8,636,510 records of live births (1998–2009) and 443,338 records of deaths (1979–2009), and considers information from various other sources such as the statistical yearbooks and survey results. An exponential function is used to estimate the IMRs in Colombia for 1980–2009 while resolving internal inconsistencies in the data from all sources. Findings. The analysis demonstrates that the registered and the estimated rates for 2009 are incompatible since they follow inconsistent long-term rates of decline in IMR. While the registered rate underestimates the real situation, the estimated rate appears to grossly overestimate it. Analyses, based on other sources, put the IMR between 15.81 and 17.58 in 2009, with rates of decline between 3.0 and 5.0 percent for the period 1980–2009. Value. The study concludes that during the period 1980–2009, the IMR for Colombia on average fell from about 54 to about 17, suggesting a long-term annual rate of decline of about 4.0 percent.