India accounts for one in four of the under-five deaths in the world. Almost 300 million of its people live on less than 25 cents a day. This paper examines the determinants of child mortality in order to aid development strategies that aim to decrease mortality and increase human capital. I use a multivariate regression model examine the effect on child mortality of fertility, female literacy, health expenditure, education expenditures, GDP growth, per capita income, male literacy and vaccination rates across all 28 states in India. The majority of data used is from the third National Family Health Survey of India. The initial results were mixed and further testing shows influences of severe multicollinearity on the data. Due to the large range in child mortality rates across states, a dummy variable test examines the variation in two groups of states caused be either “high” or “low” child mortality.
This paper evaluates the fourth Millennium Development Goal that calls for a two-thirds reduction in child mortality rates. The study provides an empirical analysis specifically on child mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa. The final analysis shows that GDP, the prevalence of HIV, the improvement of water resources, and female education are the four most significant variables in determining child mortality. The analysis concludes that governments should focus on targeting funds to specific initiatives in education, improvement of water resources, and reducing the spread of HIV infections. The current annual rate of reduction for child mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa is 4.1%. This is insufficient to reach the fourth Millennium Development goal by the 2015 deadline.