the present study is aimed to describe the mortality in the county of salvador in 1980, as distributed over different areas, by using overall mortality coefficients, proportional mortality ratios, proportional mortality curves and guedes & guedes indicators. death certificates from residents in salvador during 1980, available in the health state office of bahia, were used as data sources. they were grouped according to census tracts as defined by conder (company for the development of salvador) as well as socio-economic indicators gathered from several sources in different public offices. correlation analyses between mortality measures and selected socio-economic indicators were used. a marked variation of indicators among different city sectors was found, even considering the use of an indicator with low discriminant power as the overall mortality coefficient. the indexes of moraes and swaroop-uemura and guedes & guedes scoring system pointed out evident inequalities in the distribution of deaths among different sectors of salvador. high levels of correlation were found between proportional mortality ratio and income, water supply, and population density, reinforcing the idea that at the basis of such mal-distribution is the economic structure as a generator of inequalities.