World health report

Executive summary

Mortality trends

The general trend in the number of deaths at different ages is downward (for both the developed market economies and the LDCs), except in the age group 65 and above. Overall, the number of deaths worldwide was the same in 1995 as in 1955 but with a significant decline of about 50% among children under 5, and or about 30% in the age group 5-19. There was an increase of about 5% in the working population aged 20-64. However, a relatively small reduction of about 18% was experienced by the female population in the reproductive age group 15-49.

In the LDCs however, the decreasing trend in the proportion of deaths among children, and a rapid increase in the proportion of deaths among older people, are noticeable. The proportion of deaths among adults - the working-age population - has been increasing from 25% in 1975 to 29% in 1995, and is expected to be almost 36% in 2025.