Correcting for Under-Estimation of Infant Mortality in Moldova

Short papers
By Olga Penina, France Meslé, Jacques Vallin, Catriona Dutreuilh


In certain countries of the former Soviet Union, apparent mortality trends are distorted by phases of improvement or deterioration in data quality. In Moldova, the quality of infant mortality statistics improved suddenly in the 1970s, but still poses problems to this day. The change in the 1970s is of particular importance, since by turning their attention to perinatal mortality, the authorities brought to light a more general problem of under-registration of infant deaths. In addition, although Moldova finally adopted the WHO definition of live birth in 2008, a small proportion of neonatal deaths still remains unregistered. This short paper examines infant mortality trends in Moldova since 1945, after correction for this observation bias, and analyses the effect of these corrections on life expectancy.


  • neonatal and infant mortality
  • life expectancy
  • under-registration
  • Moldova
  • Soviet statistics
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