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Diana Lavery

Quantitative Social Science Professional

36

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Young Adult Literacy Rates and Infant Mortality Rate

I'm looking at the relationship between literacy (proxy for education) and infant mortality in the world.  I have a data set of 210 countries with their infant mortality rates and their young adult literacy rates for both males and females.  Here's a screenshot of my data: 

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it goes all the way to Zimbabwe as I scroll down, not shown here.  There are some missing data points for the young adult literacy rates.  Source is Population Reference Bureau's 2015 World Population Data Sheet.  

I've made four graphs:

1. Young Adult female literacy rates & infant mortality with a linear line of best fit:

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2. Young adult male literacy rates and infant mortality with a linear line of best fit:

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3. female rates with a nonlinear line of best fit:

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4. male literacy rates with a nonlinear line of best fit:

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My R-squared statistics were highest for the female literacy rates with the linear line of best fit (R^2 = .54), followed by the female literacy rates with the logarithmic line of best fit (R^2 = .46); then the male rates with the linear line of best fit (R^2 = .36), then lastly the male rates with the logarithmic line of best fit (R^2 = .33).  

Conclusions: 

  • There is a clear inverse relationship between young adult literacy rates and infant mortality.
  • The relationship is stronger for young adult female literacy rates than for young adult male literacy rates.
  • The linear models fit a bit better than the logarithmic models, but only slightly. 

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