Our Disgraceful Infant Mortality Epidemic

The New York Times has a big front-page story today about our appalling racial gap in infant mortality. Infant mortality in general has gone down substantially since WWII, but the racial gap has actually increased. In 1950, according to the CDC, the black rate of infant mortality was 64 percent higher than the white rate. Today it’s 133 percent higher:

And that’s not all. Nearly every other rich country has made more progress toward reducing infant mortality than we have:

In 1960, we ranked 11th in infant mortality among rich countries. Not great, but not terrible. Today we rank 24th out of 27 rich countries, ahead of only Turkey, Mexico, and Chile. We are behind every single country in Europe by a large margin. This is the price we pay for our horrible health care system.

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