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Four Million Missing Women

The rate at which girls and women die relative to men is higher in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries. Excess female deaths in a given year represent women who would not have died in the previous year if they had lived in a high-income country, after accounting for the overall health environment of the country they live in.

Globally, excess female mortality after birth and “missing” girls at birth account every year for an estimated 3.9 million women below the age of 60. About two-fifths of them are never born, one-fifth goes missing in infancy and childhood, and the remaining two-fifths do so between the ages of 15 and 59.

Almost 4 Million Missing Women Each Year
Excess Female Deaths in the World, By Age and Region, 1990 and 2008 (thousands)

  Girls at birth Girls under 5 Girls
Total women under 60
  1990 2008 1990 2008 1990 2008 1990 2008 1990 2008 1990 2008
China 8901,09225971215208569230 1,4701,254
India 26525742825194453882288175 1,255856
Sub-Saharan Africa 425318320361773027515099 6391,182
High HIV prevalence countries 006395183832843153 416
Low HIV prevalence countries 425317716357592644234668 586766
South Asia (excluding India) 01997232201761613751 346305
East Asia and Pacific (excluding China) 341471491371134846216 179
Middle East and North Africa 56137414324151580 52
Europe and Central Asia 7143100124432723
Latin America and the Caribbean 0011531201017175133
Total 1,2121,4271,0106172301581,2861,347343 3344,0823,882

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