Pan American Health Organization

Fact sheet


  • Life expectancy reached approximately 75 years of age during the 2010-2015 period. The population gained an average of 16 years of life in the last 45 years.
  • The maternal mortality ratio decreased from 68.4 deaths in 2002-2005 to 58.2 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010-2013 (a 14.9% reduction).
  • The infant mortality rate declined 24.0%, from 17.9 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2002-2005 to 13.6 in 2010-2013.
  • The number of malaria cases decreased 62% between 2000 and 20015 (from 1,181,095 cases to 451,242).
  • Elimination programs helped reduce the number of active foci of onchocerciasis from 12 to just 1 in the Amazonia region of Brazil and Venezuela.
  • Between 2010 and 2014, new reported cases of leprosy declined 10.1% (from 37,571 to 33,789).
  • In 2015, the International Expert Committee determined that the Region had interrupted the endemic transmission of rubella and in 2016 the Region was declared measles-free.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, deathes related to AIDS decreased from 73,579 to 49,564, a 67% reduction, due to early antiretroviral treatment.
  • The region achieved a 67% reduction in under-5 mortality rates from 53.8 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 17.9 per 1,000 live births in 2015.
  • The fertility rate among adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean declined from 70.4 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19 in 2005-2010, to 66.5 in 2010-2015, a 5.5% reduction.
  • Prenatal care (minimum 4 prenatal care visits) increased in the Region from an average of 79.5% in 2005 to 88.2% in 2016.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, institutional deliveries in the Region increased from 91.3% to 95.6%.
  • Foot and mouth disease virus serotype C is no longer circulating and PAHO recommends removing this serotype from the vaccine.


  • Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading causes of death in the Americas, responsible for nearly four out of five deaths annually.
  • Around 422 million adults aged over 18 years are living with diabetes worldwide, with 62 million (15%) of them living in the Americas. This number has tripled in this Region since 1980.
  • Cancer affects nearly 3 million people in the Americas each year, causing 1.3 million deaths; 45% of these deaths are premature (persons younger than 70).


  • Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, the United States of America, and Uruguay are the only countries that allocate more than 6% of their GDP to public health expenditure.

Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, United States of America