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Mortality differentials in South Africa: ethnicity, economic development and HIV/AIDS

Robert McCaa, University of Minnesota

The study describes the pattern of mortality differentials in South Africa obtained from the 2001 census data. Very large gradients are found by ethnicity and province of residence, much larger than those found by any socioeconomic indicator such as education, income, wealth or urbanization. The gradients also vary by age at death and to a lesser extent by sex, the largest differentials being found for young adults and for maternal mortality. The rationale of these large differentials is explored. Among the leading causes of large mortality differences among young adults are HIV/AIDS and violence. These seem to a large extent independent from socioeconomic status. This pattern differs markedly from patterns found in other developing countries.

Presented in Poster Session 4: Poster Session 4: health and ageing