Inequality in mortality decreases with age: Evidence from developing countries using census data

  • Rubén Castro Public Policy Institute, Universidad Diego Portales.
  • Eduardo Fajnzylber Escuela de Gobierno, Universidad Adolfo Ibañez.
  • Andrés Fortunato Universidad de Chile.
Keywords: inequality, mortality, developing countries


With some exceptions, studies consistently find that mortality rate ratios between the highest and lowest socioeconomic status (SES) groups are substantially larger among the young-age population, rather than the old one. This pattern is relevant for policy and research, but it has seldom been explored in populations of developing countries. In this study, eight samples in the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) that contain mortality data (El Salvador 1992, Rwanda 2002, Senegal 2002, Sierra Leone 2004, Uganda 2002, Malawi 2008, Brazil 2010, and Zambia 2010) and information about household assets are analyzed, and, using SES of equal relative size, results in seven out of eight cases are the same as those in developed societies: ratios are larger among the young age group and among men. Therefore, the ratio of mortality by relative-SES also decreases with age in several developing ones.

Author Biography

Andrés Fortunato, Universidad de Chile.
Phd in Economics student.