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"Mortality in the past – around half died as children"

One of the astonishing measures of human progress.

What is striking about the historical estimates is how similar the mortality rates for children were across this very wide range of 43 historical cultures. . . . Every fourth newborn died in the first year of life. One out of two died in childhood. . . . 

On the very right of the chart you see the statistics on child health in the world today: The global infant mortality rate is now is 2.9%. And 4.6% die before reaching the age of 15.