Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

Mortality rates in developed versus developing countries, A call for action

Mortality rates in developed versus developing countries, A call for action

Countries with high death rates and relatively low fertility rates and birth rates may face a risk of population decline.

We explore through data visuals that developed countries have lower death rate than do developing countries. We understand the background by looking into various factors affecting this as hospital bed per capita, GDP per capita, health expenditure per capita and population growth rate. We use this knowledge to see which developing country requires an immediate call for action.


The highest mortality rates are seen in the African continent. Indeed, it is painful to see people dying in developing and poor countries where health care networks and facilities are less robust and people struggle to obtain basic needs such as clean water, adequate food and sanitation.

Death rate is highest in countries with lowest Hospital bed per Capita, lowest health expenditure per capita and lowest GDP per capita as per evidence for 10 countries (5 lowest death rate  per 1000 capita Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE and China) vs 5 Highest Death rate per 1000 capita (Sierra Leone, Chad, Mali, Niger and South Sudan) .

Nations and government should assist Africa to enhance their economic conditions to raise the GDP, to build hospitals to increase the bed capacity and increase health expenditure. Failure to do so may result in a population decline. Maps clearly show Africa shows very low GDP in addition to highest mortality rates.

But a clear plan is needed, in which country should we start improving and working on such factors. We suggest considering population decline as an urgent factor.

Population decline seems to be an issue and should be avoided especially in Sierra Leone Why?

Sierra Leone has the highest death rate. Yet, it is not among the countries with highest birth rate and highest fertility rate. Moreover, among the top 5 countries with highest mortality rates it is showing the least population growth. This seems a country of concern especially when it comes to population decline. Let us start here.

Please don’t forget that High Death rate in Africa is not about population in Africa.

To prove this, we consider China. China has very high population yet a very low death rate of 4.88 per 1000 people compared to 23.2 per 1000 people in Sierra Leone.

We cannot really control population and accept high death rates in populated countries. We need to:

  • Enhance socioeconomic conditions and Governments need to invest in better GDPs in the healthcare system and to build hospitals to increase hospital per 1000 capita
  • Increase awareness about hygiene
  • Increase healthcare education