Sep 6, 2017 - Health

The infant mortality problem by race and geography

Babies with black mothers die twice as often as babies with white or Hispanic mothers, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And that's across urban and rural settings.

Why it matters: A main finding of the CDC report was infant mortality rates were highest in rural areas and lowest in large urban areas. But that also makes sense, since people in rural counties are farther away from hospitals and doctors. The more eye-opening data show a gaping disparity in death rates for black infants regardless of where they live.

The numbers: The infant mortality rate for newborns with black mothers in rural counties was 12.1 deaths for every 1,000 live births in 2014. The death rate for babies with white and Hispanic mothers in rural counties was half of that (6 and 5.3 deaths, respectively). The numbers and ratios were similar for mothers who live in medium-sized urban counties and large urban counties.

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