Table of Contents
International Journal of Population Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 989485, 6 pages
Research Article

Neonatal Death and National Income in Developing Countries: Will Economic Growth Reduce Deaths in the First Month of Life?

Department of Social Statistics and Demography, Social and Human Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK

Received 17 May 2013; Revised 3 September 2013; Accepted 15 September 2013; Published 2 February 2014

Academic Editor: Alberto Davila

Copyright © 2014 Sarah Neal and Jane Falkingham. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The relationship between national income and child mortality has been understood for many years. However, what is less well known is whether the association differs for neonatal mortality compared to postneonatal and early childhood deaths. Our study extends knowledge by analysing the relationship between gross national income (GNI) and neonatal, postneonatal, and early child mortality. The study draws on mortality estimates from Demographic and Household Surveys and World Bank data for GNI. It uses multivariate multiple regression analysis to examine the relationship between GNI and neonatal, postneonatal, and early child mortality rates (NMR, PNMR, and ECMR) using cross-sectional data from 65 countries and trend data from 49 countries. No significant relationship can be found between NMR and GNI for cross-sectional data once adjusted for region. The trend data confirms that increases over time in GNI are associated with lower reductions in NMR than other component rates. Thus, economic growth alone may have a weaker effect on reducing neonatal deaths than for older age groups; achieving improvements in neonatal mortality requires investment in maternal and new born health services alongside growth.