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Infant Mortality Rate
Infant Mortality Rate measures the number of infants younger then 1 year old who die before reaching their first birthday. KIDS COUNT reports data by place of residence, not place of death.
Infant mortality is one of the most commonly used variables in sociology research. It is often used to measure the level of development of various countries, as it is often argued that one of the benefits of more developed economies is that increase in the national level of health and the consequential decline in the prevalence of various health problems including infant mortality. This in fact is logical, as increasing levels of wealth will allow improved access towards medical care during and immediately after pregnancy thus decreasing the risk of infant mortality.
In the United States increasing levels of medical development have caused a rapid decrease in the rate of infant mortality in the United States. In 1900 almost 100 of every 1000 US born infants died, whereas by 1999 at 7.1 it was less then one tenth of this. However, not all parts of society have gained equally in the medical revolution of the twentieth century – African American infants are twice as likely to die in infancy as Caucasian infants while Chinese Americans suffer only 3 infant mortalities for every 1000 babies born. The infant mortality rate is sometimes considered to be highly correlated with economic well being, as those babies born to more affluent mothers are more likely to see their first birthday.
This indicator’s data was obtained from several sources most of which were provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics. To find the location of infant mortality for each specific year, the user is encouraged to use the KIDS COUNT web site to locate the exact citations under the “Definitions and Data Sources” page.
Figure 1: Infant Mortality Rate in the United States since 1990