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Soc Sci Med. 1993 May;36(10):1319-23.

The geographical inequalities of mortality in China.

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East China Normal University, Shanghai.


The Chinese population accounts for one-fifth of the world's total, so any change in Chinese mortality will have a great influence on the change of the world population. Before 1949, Chinese population mortality was 25-33%, the high year was 40%, and infant mortality even reached over 250 per 1000 live births. After 1949, the mortality had a rapid decline: it was 20% in 1949, and 14-18% in 1950-1964. But in 1960, mortality went up to 25.43% because of the natural disasters. Since 1965 it has been under 10%. Chinese mortality was 6.58% in 1988. The lowest proportion was 4.95% in Heilongjiang Province. The highest was 7.13% in Yunnan Province. Urban mortality has always been lower than that of the countryside. The urban mortality was 7% in 1965, but it was not until 1978, that countryside mortality had just reached this level. It probably related to the economics, culture, environment, health care and etc. It is worth noting that urban mortality has increased in China since 1981. It was 6.44% in Shanghai in 1981, but it went up to 6.80% in 1988. This condition has been attributed to an aging population and environmental pollution. As family planning has been practised in China, it can be estimated that the Chinese population will be at its height in 2004, and will begin to decrease in 2005.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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