Socio-demographic correlates of infant mortality in Australia

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Correlations of infant mortality rates with other available characteristics of statistical divisions of Australia have been analysed. The analysis has been done in three segments (i) all statistical divisions (AUSTRALIA-I), (ii) divisions excluding large Aboriginal populations (AUSTRALIA-II), and (iii) divisions containing only major urban and metropolitan areas (AUSTRALIA-III). Neonatal mortality rate forms respectively 63%, 70% and 73% of infant mortality rate in the three sections. Proportion of Aboriginal population, percent ex-nuptial births, and index of heat discomfort are three of the most important variables in the variation of infant mortality among the statistical divisions. Path analysis has been used to decompose the correlations of each variable with neonatal and postneonatal mortality rates respectively, into direct and indirect effects. In AUSTRALIA-I, the variables considered are found to affect infant mortality rates more through postneonatal mortality than through neonatal mortality. In the other two segments, the variables appear to exert their influence on infant mortality more through neonatal mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-164
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Science and Medicine. Part C Medical Geography
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1980
Externally publishedYes


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