We're Still #1... in Infant Mortality

| Mon May 22, 2006 6:51 PM EDT

Last Mother's Day, Save the Children released some statistics noting that infant mortality rates in the United States were ridiculously high compared to other "developed" countries, especially if you just look at infant mortality rates among African-Americans or Native Americans.

Now for a long time, many critics of these numbers have suggested that it's all a mirage, a trick of accounting, supposedly caused by the fact that other countries don't try to save as many babies as we do and hence count all those extra deaths as stillbirths. But over at Alas, a Blog, Ampersand looks at this claim and finds that it's quite wrong; the United States really does have a much higher infant mortality rate than other industrialized countries. Whether that's because of our inequitable health care system or environmental factors or pervasive poverty is up in the air, but there's no question that the problem exists.

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