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African Population Studies
Union for African Population Studies
ISSN: 0850-5780
Vol. 19, No. SB, 2004, pp. 9-29
Bioline Code: ep04033
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Population Studies, Vol. 19, No. SB, 2004, pp. 9-29

 en Socioeconomic Status and Child Mortality: An Illustration Using Housing and Household Characteristics from African Census Data
Bawah, Ayaga A. & Zuberi, Tukufu


Housing characteristics and household possessions such as sources of water; type of toilet facilities; housing construction materials; and household possessions like radio, television, and animal possessions, often reflect the socioeconomic status of households, especially in developing countries where income data are lacking. It is possible therefore, to use these variables together or individually to proxy for household wealth or socioeconomic status. This is because the type of houses people reside in and their possessions tend to speak to their economic ability or purchasing power. We treat the variables together as a proxy for economic status to create a composite poverty index and employed this index in multivariate model to examine its association with childhood mortality in three southern African countries. The results are reassuringly consistent with expectation, both simply by examining the mean distribution of the variables by the socioeconomic groups and also by the relationship of the index to childhood mortality in a multivariate regression model. The chances of childhood mortality decreased consistently with higher levels of the socioeconomic status index.

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