Racial differences in infant mortality in Brazil: how long will they last?

Jose Alberto M. de Carvalho, Centro de Desenvolvimento e Planejamento Regional (CEDEPLAR)
Paula Miranda-Ribeiro, CEDEPLAR, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Adriana Miranda-Ribeiro, João Pinheiro Foundation (FJP)

Infant mortality is one of the indicators that better reflect differences in the quality of life among different groups within the same population. In Brazil, there is a huge socioeconomic gap between whites and Afro-descendants (blacks and browns) that translates into racial inequality in mortality rates. The objective of this paper is twofold. First, it presents infant mortality rates (IMR) for Brazilian children born to white mothers and to black or brown mothers in 1991 and 2000, using census data. Second, it speculates when those rates tend to converge. Results suggest that if nothing is done in terms of public policy aiming at reducing racial differences in IMR, Brazil will have to cope with one more evidence of racial inequality.

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Presented in Session 183: Mortality differentials in multi-ethnic societies