The educational attainment of parents, particularly mothers, has been associated with lower levels of child mortality, yet there is no consensus on the magnitude of this relationship globally. This study aimed to estimate the total reductions in under-5 mortality that are associated with increased maternal and paternal education, during distinct age intervals. It is the first effort to systematically quantify the transgenerational importance of education for child survival at the global level. The results showed that lower maternal and paternal education are both risk factors for child mortality, even after controlling for other markers of family socioeconomic status. This study provides robust evidence for universal quality education as a mechanism to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal target 3.2 of reducing neonatal and child mortality.
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