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Mortality Dispersion in PNG

At a seminar today at ANU, Dr John Burton gave a talk on the problems in quantifying mortality in small populations. Dr Burton is senior anthropologist in the Torres Strait Regional Authority at Thursday Island.

Whilst the US Census Bureau shows life expectancy for PNG in 2000 at 60.1 years, Dr Burton sheds doubt on such generalised statistics. He states that only four national calculations have ever been made. The best quality results were from the 1980 PNG census which showed for 10 project areas, life expectancy varied from 37 years for Upper Watut and Morobe Province, 55 for Rai Coast, Kandrian and Wau District, and about 60 for Lihir Group and New Ireland.

Other studies for the developed world show significant dispersion in life expectancy by socio-economic status, a notable source being the work of Sir Michael Marmot- see http://www.findem.com.au/resources/displayResourcesArticle.php?id=30

Posted Tuesday, 22 February 2005

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