Socio-Demographic Characteristics and Health Status of Minority Nationalities in Yunnan, China

Prof Nicholas de Klerk
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Yunnan Province, located in the southwest of China, has 55 minority nationalities, making up 33.43% of its total population. Research is sparse on the demographic and health status of the various minority nationalities. This study examines trends in the demographic and health profiles of the 25 largest minority nationalities in Yunnan since 1953. The data for the analysis came from the five population censuses for China and Yunnan (1953, 1964, 1982, 1990 and 2000) and from Yunnan Provincial Health Department. Linear regression analysis and Pearson correlations were used to examine association between various demographic and health variables.

The population size increased from 1953 to 2000 in all minority populations, and for many the size had more than doubled. The total fertility declined from 1982 to 2000, with some groups reaching below the replacement level of 2.1. In many minority nationalities, the infant mortality rate declined and the life expectancy increased from 1990 to 2000, but the overall disparities remained between the Han and the minority groups. Infant mortality at the prefecture level also decreased substantially from 1996 to 2000. Literacy and the use of prenatal care and birth delivery patterns were important predictors of these health outcomes, and were lower in the minority regions. The demographic changes suggest that the minority nationalities have moved towards a more modern reproductive stage. Literacy may have enabled a greater uptake of the available preventative and curative health services and also helped raised women’s status, thus contributing to lower mortality and higher life expectancy at birth.

Keywords: Infant Mortality, Life Expectancy, Illiteracy, Minorities
Stream: Natural, Environmental and Health Sciences
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Prof Nicholas de Klerk

Professor of Biostatistics, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia
Subiaco, Western Australia, Australia

He is a Chief Investigator on several new large cross-disciplinary grants related to child health and well-being. He previously coordinated the Occupational Respiratory Epidemiology Group in the Department of Public Health at the University of Western Australia. He has over 25 years experience in biostatistics and epidemiology with more than 200 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of occupational respiratory disease, cancer epidemiology, child health, and biostatistics. He has been a member of various state and national health advisory committees as well as an international advisor to the WHO on vaccine safety and the WTO on the risks of chrysotile asbestos. His particular interests are in biostatistics, environmental, occupational, respiratory and nutritional epidemiology, record linkage, study design, clinical trials, microarray data analysis, and exposure, disease and risk assessment and modelling.

Ref: I06P0312