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Report Number WP/98
Thomas M. McDevitt with Karen A. Stanecki and Peter O. Way
Component ID: #ti1468071844

Introduction

This report is being published as we enter the closing years of the decade, century and millennium.  During this century, we have witnessed a surge in human population unmatched in sheer magnitude during any previous period in human history.  Since mid-century, mortality levels have plummeted in every world region, driving up rates of natural increase.  In the early 1950s, over 150 of every 1,000 infants died before reaching their first birthdays.  In 1998, over 60 percent of these children survive:  Infant mortality has been reduced to 58 infant deaths per 1,000 live births worldwide.   As a result of improvements in child survival, and of parallel but typically smaller decreases in adult mortality, global life expectancy at birth has increased from about 47 years in the early 1950s to 63 years in 1998.

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