Infant Mortality

February 26th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

infantmort

 

Even a generation ago the rate in New Zealand was more than twice what it is today, and post WWII was a massive 30 in 1000 or so.

The gap between Maori and overall infant mortality has also declined massively, which is good.

People often think of the 1950s as some sort of glory days. It is true that they were good times for many, but we shouldn’t overlook the progress we have had since then.

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42 Responses to “Infant Mortality”

  1. virtualmark (1,535 comments) says:

    DPF, what’s the units on the Y-axis? Is that deaths per 1,000 live births?

    Also, what’s “infant”? <1 year old? <6 months old?

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  2. BeaB (2,141 comments) says:

    They weren’t very wonderful days for many women – domestic drudgery with few modern appliances, employed with lesser conditions and pay, forced to retire early from the public service, lack of reliable contraception etc etc.
    There were many good times too, of course.

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  3. pedrogarcia (52 comments) says:

    What happened to the collection of Maori infant mortality data from ’90 to ’97?

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  4. David Farrar (1,900 comments) says:

    Yes per 1,000 births. Counted as a death under one year of age.

    No idea what happened to the Maori data.

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  5. gump (1,657 comments) says:

    It’s graphs like these that underscore the worthlessness of traditional medicine (for both Maori and Pakeha).

    Our lives are progressing along an arc of upward progress.

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  6. Kea (13,194 comments) says:

    And to think some (the Greens) want to wind the clock back to those times and beyond, to a pre industrial time where less than 50% of people survived childhood and the village elder was 25.

    (Less essential plant food evil co2 output and all that.)

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  7. srylands (413 comments) says:

    From the 1930s through the 1980s an important factor in falling infant mortality was the discovery and funding of vaccines against previously deadly childhood diseases. These gains could be wound back by the crazy opposition to childhood vaccinations by about 10% of parents. Unlike other personal decisions about child welfare these decisions by bad parents affect all of us. I would advocate stiffer disincentives for parents that refuse to vaccinate for no good reason.

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  8. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    BeaB (1,506) Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Find me as many women today who were as happy as those in the 1905’s – you havent got a hope. Almost all women today are unhappy – unhappy with their job, with their partner, unhappy with their living conditions, unhappy with their job prospects, unhappy about almost everything except the amount of alcohol they can consume.

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  9. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    The maori statistics prove only one thing – if they would only take on western habits – especially medical practice – then they would be up there with everyone else.

    But their stupidity in following old maori prejudices has held them back.
    Actually Im surprised that they are as good as they are today – considering that there are still a lot of stupid maoris out there. Mind you – it could be that there are growing numbers of stupid non-maoris. The anti vaccination lot for example.

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  10. hmmokrightitis (1,595 comments) says:

    Must be just the women you know barry, suggest you look in a mirror.

    The woman I know love life, and realise how bloody good we have it here in UnZud, despiote labour and the greens telling us the sky is falling.

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  11. Dazzaman (1,143 comments) says:

    Forget your happy pills today barry?

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  12. eszett (2,426 comments) says:

    it seems to me that it’s not really the greens who would want to take us back to the 50s

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  13. Northland Wahine (667 comments) says:

    Damn Barry, you need to get out more.

    Women I mix with, love their work, jobs, husbands/partners or the fact that they are single. Of course they get to vent and unload certain frustrations, but don’t men? Thought it was a human condition “shrugs”

    As for if only would take on western habits, especially medical practices… Other than death by the hand of some murderous ex partner of the child’s mother, I’d wouldn’t be surprised if the high mortality rate has a lot to do with poor damp living conditions, households filled with cigarette smoke, and over crowded housing.

    And no Barry, that is still no excuse in my opinion.

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  14. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Well hmmokrightitis and Dazzaman – as you almost certainly didnt hear – a survey the other day shows that most NZers think that they were better off 10 years ago.

    And before that idiot Douglas and his idiot mates thought we had to deregulate and export all our manual jobs to china – the average family could live, eat good food, buy a house, buy a car and have annual holidays on one income. You could get straight into a hospital, and new morthers had the right to stay up to 14 days in a maternity hospital if they eanted to.

    Today it takes 2 incomes and most cant buy a house near to a job even then, they dont have annual holidays at the beach and they eat shit food. They have to wait years for non-emergency hospital treatment and new mothers get 4 hours and then its out – day or night.

    So – find me some woman who thinks that being able to happily live on one income and be able to buy a house is worse than having to have 2 incomes and even then often not able to buy a house, etc.

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  15. Pete George (23,676 comments) says:

    Great graph showing the general trend of drastically improved survival odds for children.

    And if it’s accurate (it may well be but the change is dramatic) really good to see Maori stats catch up in the last few years.

    This isn’t only good for reduced deaths, there is likely to be a corresponding improvement in health and quality of life for many kids too.

    If it wasn’t for modern drugs and treatments one of my three children would definitely not have survived and at least two grandchildren would not have survived either.

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  16. hmmokrightitis (1,595 comments) says:

    We all, I dont doubt for a second, think 10 years ago things were better. Rose tinted glasses kick in – hence how women forget the pain of childbirth and do it all again :)

    As for Douglas being an idiot, I dont see how any thinking person can still spin that line – he forced us to do what would happen anyway, and thank goodness he did. As for your mythical ‘average family’, Im sure youve got some figures to back that up, right?

    My mother was forced to stay in hospital when she gave birth, despite wanting to go home, for all of her three children, in the 50’s and 60’s – she wasnt allowed. Dad wasnt allowed anywhere near the birth. Everyone who works gets annual holidays, and its their choice what food they eat.

    Do you need to get laid or what?

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  17. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Any insights on Asian or Polynesian infant mortality?

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  18. Dave Mann (1,248 comments) says:

    Why does almost every fucking statistic have to single out the Maoris for their own special set of numbers? What about Polynesians, Indians, Chinese, Croatians, Greeks, Welsh, Iranians, Australians, Non-Specific other White European people (remember them????), Sri Lankans, Irish, Zimbabweans, Scottish, Punjabis or any other race of people that live here?

    I’m getting fucking sick of this….. and I suspect I’m NOT ALONE.

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  19. David Garrett (7,511 comments) says:

    Does anyone have any idea why the infant mortality rate spiked sharply upward in 1937-38? The depression was pretty much over then…some epidemic no-one now remembers?

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  20. JC (967 comments) says:

    Dave,

    Its important because it visually destroys the arguments of the poverty industry and whilst this is a pat on the back for our health system it mainly signals that Maori themselves are making better decisions wrt their own health and lifestyle.

    I would say its also a smack in the eye for the racial activists who make a living from Pakeha guilt.

    Bottom line.. this is a victory for 50 years of effort by Govt and Maori themselves.

    JC

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  21. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    David Garrett (3,270) Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 7:27 pm
    ——————-

    From memory I think there was a spike in polio about 1937, again in 1947ish, and again during the 50’s.

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  22. David Garrett (7,511 comments) says:

    Judith: Yeah, I wondered about polio…I thought that affected teenagers more? Scary to think that that is one disease that could make a comeback if enough dingbats don’t get their kids immunized coz of something they read on the interweb..

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  23. Jim (398 comments) says:

    Great improvement since the 30’s, but not so flash when stacked up against the world:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate

    NZ has fallen from 6th best in the world to 29th and is now *double* that of the best countries. Many of the countries that are now doing better than NZ actually started from a far worse position. Some had many times higher than NZ death rate in the 50’s – but somehow overtook us.

    Why is that?

    Would be interesting to see a breakdown of causes of death and at what age (assuming this is U5MR), also doctors vs midwives, etc.

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  24. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    David Garrett (3,271) Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 8:25 pm
    ————————————

    It is frightening. It came up in a paper I did years ago. We were shown some old footage of those that lived. How anyone could risk their child’s health in such a way seems insane to me. It is a disease that we have not managed to eradicate and is very much still a threat. Polio is not selective in who it infects either.

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  25. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    here’s the missing Maori data

    http://www2.stats.govt.nz/domino/external/web/nzstories.nsf/3d7ba81fd31d11adcc256b16006bfcf3/9c46248aeb4cd608cc256b1800059072?OpenDocument

    note also the change in Maori ethnicity definition from Sep95

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  26. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Jim (272) Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 8:27 pm
    ——————————–

    I would love to know what part lifestyle plays.

    Back in the 50’s/60’s, despite damp housing, kids got more sunshine, more time taking part in physical activities, and weren’t so ‘fussy’ about cleanliness. Bare feet were in ‘fashion’.

    Has our sterile technological world, actually endangered our children, more than it has saved them?

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  27. Northland Wahine (667 comments) says:

    What I find hard to believe that kids are allowed in schools and pre schools without full immunisation?

    Don’t parents have to provide proof that all shots are up to date?

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  28. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Northland Wahine (421) Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 8:36 pm
    What I find hard to believe that kids are allowed in schools and pre schools without full immunisation?

    Don’t parents have to provide proof that all shots are up to date?

    ——————————–

    I don’t think so, but if you try to book a dog into a kennel, it will have to be fully immunised. Goodness knows what future historians will make of that!

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  29. Northland Wahine (667 comments) says:

    Judith, I just provided verification for my boy as he switched schools… Mind you, I never crossed my mind not to immunise him, but they did ask.

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  30. Redbaiter (9,469 comments) says:

    There were apparently a number of really aberrational births in Gisborne around 1958. Babies born with moustaches, that kind of thing.

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  31. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Northland Wahine (422) Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 8:47 pm
    ————————

    That’s good to know. I wonder if all schools do it, or just some, and if you said no, would they deny that child entry?

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  32. David Garrett (7,511 comments) says:

    Russell, Russell….you’re a sad old chap really arent you? Surely there is an RSA in Tauranga you can visit? Must be someone there who for the price of a jug will tell you about how they killed commies in Korea?

    Oh BTW….the word you were trying for is “aberrant”…never pays to try and use impressive words without checking with the dictionary first old fella….

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  33. LabourDoesntWork (291 comments) says:

    The people most likely to neglect their infant in the past now kill them in abortion.

    “Progress”.

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  34. Harriet (5,085 comments) says:

    “….People often think of the 1950s as some sort of glory days. It is true that they were good times for many, but we shouldn’t overlook the progress we have had since then….”

    Progress? Have a look at the abortion rate and then look at what progress we would have made!

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  35. Harriet (5,085 comments) says:

    “……There were apparently a number of really aberrational births in Gisborne around 1958. Babies born with moustaches, that kind of thing….”

    hahhhhhahhahahhhaah

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  36. big bruv (14,114 comments) says:

    “There were apparently a number of really aberrational births in Gisborne around 1958. Babies born with moustaches, that kind of thing….”

    Catherine Delahunty was born in Gisborne?

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  37. Pete George (23,676 comments) says:

    Have a look at the abortion rate and then look at what progress we would have made!

    Whether you support the right of people to have abortions and use contraception or not they have been a substantial factor in limiting a drastically snowballing world population.

    If modern medicine and nutrition were combined with an uncontrolled birth rate we would be far more drastically overpopulated.

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  38. graham (2,346 comments) says:

    If your support of abortions includes the fact that they are a “substantial factor in limiting a drastically snowballing world population” then that’s pretty flimsy. Hell, with that reasoning, let’s reintroduce the Black Plague, that’ll do wonders for it. Word to Tariana, better stop banning smoking, we need more people to die young from lung cancer. And while we’re at it, please ask Peter Dunne to stop banning any more drugs, a few more OD’s will help out there.

    I guess by your reasoning, modern drugs and treatments – which are obviously a substantial factor in ADDING to an already drastically snowballing world population – are a bad thing then, Pete?

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  39. Adele Keys (39 comments) says:

    Barry!

    The vast majority of Maori do engage in western medicical practice. It is not the “stupidity of following old Maori prejudices” that have held them back, it is the vicious colonisation process that has been proven time and time again to cause intergenerational trauma to indigenous races throughout the world resulting in significantly below average statistics in health as well as crime, average income, etc.

    Perhaps do a little research into the matter Barry and try and discover the actual cause of these upsetting Maori statistics.

    Something is obviously wrong and I’m pretty sure its not that Maori have an extra “dumb” gene.

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  40. Harriet (5,085 comments) says:

    “…..Something is obviously wrong and I’m pretty sure its not that Maori have an extra “dumb” gene….”

    The reality is that a lot of Maori do very well for themselves – an ever increasing rate since the 60’s.

    And like white people, it’s mostly a matter of ‘ambition’ in doing whatever one does: a job for example, that they ‘succeed’ at or not.

    Whites and Maoris from all backgrounds and all industries have succeeded, and if you ask them why, the reply is nearly always ‘effort’.

    And ‘effort’ goes hand in hand with being ‘ambitious’ because ‘effort’ for the most part is an ‘action’, and ‘ambition’ is what drives the action of ‘effort’!

    Easy isn’t it. :cool:

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  41. Adele Keys (39 comments) says:

    Harriet,

    Obviously statistics mean nothing to the individual. I know many Maori who have gone on to have very successful, well paid careers; underprivileged and otherwise. The reality is however whether Maori or not, those coming from a lower socio-economic group will struggle more and require MORE effort and ambition to achieve the same results as someone from a middle class family. Not to mention that if you are raised to value ambition and effort you are much more likely to display those traits than if you are brought up to accept mediocrity.

    The fact is that there are significantly greater numbers of Maori in these groups and to me there seems to be a pretty strong link between this and colonialism.

    That’s not to say that Maori cannot make there own way and be very successful and it’s great to see that an increasing amount are!

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  42. gump (1,657 comments) says:

    @Harriet

    Access to abortion leads to better overall health outcomes for children.

    As a general rule, parents do not take good care of children that they don’t want or cannot support.

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