The Impact of Basic Utility Services on Infant Mortality in Africa

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Data from international online databases are analyzed using log-linear regression techniques to test the hypothesis of an inverse association between access to basic utility services and infant mortality. Four basic utility services (potable water, improved sanitation, electricity, and telecommunications) and three controlling factors (health expenditure per capita, women's literacy, and duration of the colonial era) are examined. The hypothesis is confirmed; the predictor variables explain more than half (R2 = 0.57, significant at ⋅α = 0.000) of the variability in infant mortality. It is recommended that governments in Africa prioritize utility provisioning and women's literacy as an infant mortality reduction strategy.

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Utilities Policy, v. 59, art. 100928