Global Health Observatory (GHO)

Mortality and global health estimates

Age-standardized death rates: Measuring how many people die each year and why they have died is one of the most important means – along with gauging how various diseases and injuries are affecting the living – of assessing the effectiveness of a country’s health system. Having those numbers helps health authorities determine whether they are focusing on the right kinds of public health actions that will reduce the number of preventable deaths and disease. Globally, around 54.5 million people die each year. One in eight of these deaths occurs in children under the age of 5. Most of these preventable deaths in children occur in low- and
middle-income countries.

fact buffet

Life expectancy

70 yearsis the average life expectancy at birth of the global population in 2012

Life expectancy at birth


74%of child deaths occur in Africa and South-East Asia

Under-five mortality

Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)

45%of DALYs in low- and middle-income countries are caused by noncommunicable diseases

DALY rates, by WHO region
  • Child mortality
    Estimated levels and trends of infant, under-five and neonatal mortality
A woman, diagnosed with cancer, talks with a friend
  • Causes of death
    Estimated cause-specific mortality by region, country, age and sex


WHO Mortality Database

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