Alabama Has Second-Highest Infant Mortality Rate in U.S.

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Alabama does not fare well on a basic measure of pubic health, according to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After Mississippi, it had the highest rate of infant mortality in the nation.

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics compared birth and death certificates for infants under age one. From 2013 to 2015, Alabama had the second-highest infant mortality rate at 8.52 deaths per thousand live births.

Mississippi had the highest mortality rate in the nation, with 9.08 deaths per thousand live births.

The national infant mortality rate was 5.89. The state with the lowest rate was Massachusetts at 4.28. According to the report, every state in the South had a rate significantly higher than the national average. (State-by-state data is here.)

Overall, black women suffered the highest infant mortality rates. For black mothers in Alabama, the rate was 13.4 deaths per thousand live births. According to the CIA World Factbook, that’s higher than Oman or Venezuela.