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Trends in inequality in infant mortality in the north of England, 1921–1973, and their association with urban and social structure

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Abstract:

Summary. 

The paper analyses a time series of infant mortality rates in the north of England from 1921 to the early 1970s at a spatial scale that is more disaggregated than in previous studies of infant mortality trends in this period. The paper describes regression methods to obtain mortality gradients over socioeconomic indicators from the censuses of 1931, 1951, 1961 and 1971 and to assess whether there is any evidence for widening spatial inequalities in infant mortality outcomes against a background of an overall reduction in the infant mortality rate. Changes in the degree of inequality are also formally assessed by inequality measures such as the Gini and Theil indices, for which sampling densities are obtained and significant changes assessed. The analysis concerns a relatively infrequent outcome (especially towards the end of the period that is considered) and a high proportion of districts with small populations, so necessitating the use of appropriate methods for deriving indices of inequality and for regression modelling.

Keywords: Inequality in mortality; Infant mortality; Mortality gradients; Spatial correlation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-985X.2005.00370.x

Affiliations: 1: Queen Mary, University of London, UK 2: University of Portsmouth, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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