Risks, Amenities, and Child Mortality in Rural South Africa|
Using a dataset from rural South Africa, this paper examines the effects of many established factors associated with child mortality at different ages and introduces some less explored issues, such as cause of death. Derived from a community census, the dataset captures many vulnerable people who are usually excluded, like children whose mothers have died or who are often away from home. The study revealed that the most significant predictors of child mortality are characteristics of the mother, especially her birth history, marital status and education. Factors specific to the individual child, such as being a twin, are important determinants of survival, but only during the first few months of life. Characteristics of the household, including economic and sanitation resources like source of drinking water and electricity, are ambiguously related to child survival, but regional characteristics underlie some of these relationships. The study presents some evidence that AIDS mortality follows a different distribution from overall mortality and may be changing the distribution of deaths among households.