Child mortality and economic variation among rural Mexican households. Academic Article uri icon


  • In two rural Mexican communities, rates of child mortality are significantly related to economic situations of households. Measured over the childbearing years of post-reproductive women, the rate of child mortality (ages 0-5 years) per mother is 163 per 1000 children in one village and 338 in the other. Significant economic correlates, which are defined ethnographically in each community, are housing quality, quality of farm land and marital status. Correlations of child mortality rates with economic variables range from -0.25 to -0.54, showing that poorer mothers lose significantly more children in the first 5 years of life. These results parallel those of urban, regional, national and international studies, but economic correlates of child mortality have not previously been found in rural Latin America. The methodological contributions of this study include a meld of ethnographic and survey techniques of data collection, the development of culturally appropriate variables to measure economic status, the use of child rather than infant mortality rates, and a household-related demographic measure, the rate of child mortality per mother.

published proceedings

  • Soc Sci Med

author list (cited authors)

  • Millard, A. V

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Millard, AV

publication date

  • January 1985