Deaths in children under 5 have declined by 55% worldwide from 12.6 million in 1990 to 5.6 million in 2016, according to the UNICEF Child Mortality Report 2017. Declines were sharpest in Eastern Asia (88%) and in Latin America and the Caribbean (71%). Two regions now account for 80% of child under 5 deaths. Sub-Saharan Africa, which experienced only a 27% decline, now accounts for almost half of all deaths. Southern Asia, which experienced a 64% decline, now accounts for over 30% of all deaths. The UNICEF data is summarized in the bar chart below:
To create this chart, I started with the UNICEF report and used pdftables to create a spreadsheet from the report. I copied the relevant table from the spreadsheet into the bar chart I created using Mekko Graphics in PowerPoint. I analyzed the data by region to choose the regions with the most child deaths in 1990. Five regions accounted for 92% of the deaths. I grouped all other regions into a Rest of World category.
I also added the computations for the percentage decline as a data column. I used the Custom Sort feature to sort all the data so that the regions are ordered based on the number of deaths in 1990 with Rest of World on top. I removed the bars for 1995, 2005 and 2015 as they did not add much to the data. I used data scaling to show the bar totals in millions even though they were input in thousands.
I showed percentage values in the segments to indicate how those percentages changed from 1990 to 2015. This helped reinforce the message that child death is still a major problem in two regions (Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa). I used annotation lines to show the percentages in 2016 in the three smallest regions and linking lines between the bars to highlight the decline in each region.
I added a legend and then formatted the chart so that the legend and data column are in the upper right hand space of the chart and are aligned with each other. I removed the X and Y axis lines to give the chart a cleaner look.
Download this chart to use in PowerPoint.