Lloyd, Cathy E.
(2008). Mortality: world variations in death and dying.
In: Earle, Sarah; Komaromy, Carol and Bartholomew, Caroline eds.
Death and Dying: A Reader.
Published in association with The Open University.
Across the world there are wide variations in the experience of death and dying. Death occurs at different times and places according to many factors including age, gender, ethnicity, wealth and environment. Demographers and epidemiologists, who study, among other things, the prevalence and causes of diseases and death, have helped those concerned with who dies, to better understand the association between social and environmental factors and death. In this chapter these relationships will be considered through comparison both within and between countries, for example between developed and developing parts of the world. Globally, causes of death have changed over time as has the age at which death occurs, however many developing countries have high mortality rates and their citizens continue to die at a much younger age than those living in more developed countries. International data show how those living in poorer countries have a lower life expectancy than those living in wealthier regions of the world. Comparing mortality rates between countries can be problematic however, and a brief critique of the way in which mortality statistics are collected and how they can be interpreted will also be offered.
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