I was doing some comparative statistics between Israel and the Arab states (which seem to indicate that the Palestinians might have been more independent if Israel didn't exist, but not better off in any other way), when I noticed something interesting related to infant mortality rates. Which was that while the poorer the countries were, the more of their kids died young; there wasn't a linear relationship. Some managed to save more infants with what little they had, and others did a poor job even with more money.
So I pulled together stats from 139 countries and ran a correlation analysis between infant mortality and per capital income. I converted all the raw numbers into logarithmic scales, and the coefficient was -0.87, which is pretty high. (For the raw numbers it was -0.6). But to find out which countries did the most with their money to save babies' lives. I calculated the ratio between the logarithmic value of these two numbers.
Those who have the highest absolute infant mortality rates (Angola, Mozambique, Niger, etc.), also have the highest rates adjusted for their income. And those who had the lowest absolute rates (Japan, Iceland, Finland, etc.) also have the lowest adjusted rates.
But there are some interesting anamolies. Guinea has the same average income as Ghana, but nearly twice its infant mortality rate. The Bahamas has the same per capita income as Malta, but about 8 times its infant mortality. Cuba is a real hero in this ranking, about as poor as Nicaragua but with an infant mortality rate just slightly above New Zealand's.
There are lots of other statistical correlations that might be interesting: how does this correlate with fertility? With life expectancy? With war, income disparity, and other factors that affect the lives of people? Maybe even with elective abortion rates.
But this is a statistic worth watching, because it does say something about whether different states use their economic capacity to take care of the most helpless of their citizens, and their parents.