Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Research reported in this manuscript was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under award number R01HD090082. Additional funding was provided by the UNICEF.


Information about how the risk of death varies with age within the 0-5 age range represents critical evidence for guiding health policy. This paper proposes a new model for summarizing regularities about how under-5 mortality is distributed by detailed age. The model is based on a newly compiled database that contains under-5 mortality information by detailed age in countries with high-quality vital registration systems, covering a wide array of mortality levels and patterns. The model uses a log-quadratic approach, predicting a full mortality schedule between age 0 and 5 on the basis of only 1 or 2 parameters. With its larger number of age groups, the proposed model offers greater flexibility than existing models both in terms of entry parameters and model outcomes. We present applications of this model for evaluating and correcting under-5 mortality information by detailed age in countries with problematic mortality data.


under-5 mortality, neonatal mortality, model life tables, mortality models, age patterns of mortality, indirect methods



Date Posted: 31 August 2020