Infant mortality rates in Detroit and Michigan


The above chart shows the infant mortality rate for 2010 and the five year rolling average for the infant mortality rate from 2006 to 2010 for the counties in Southeastern Michigan. Wayne County has the highest infant mortality rate: in 2010, it was 9.7 per 1,000 live births and the five year rolling average was 10.2. When looking at the rolling average rates, Washtenaw County is the lowest with 5.3. In 2010, St. Clair County had the lowest infant mortality, with a rate of 4.7.


The above chart shows that the infant mortality rate for the City of Detroit has consistently been higher than the rate for the State of Michigan from 1970 through 2000. While the rates have been decreasing for both the city and the state, Michigan has a smooth decreasing trend, whereas Detroit’s rate has been unstable. Part of the smoothness of the Michigan curve is simply the larger number of cases.  Detroit’s lowest infant mortality rate was 13.4 in 2006 while the state’s lowest rate was 7.1 in 2010. Detroit’s infant mortality rate was 13.5 in 2010.



According to both the charts above, in both the state and the City of Detroit, black children had the highest infant mortality rate from 1990 to 2010. In Michigan, the highest rate among that race was 22.1 in 1992; that rate decreased to 14.2 in 2010. For the white race the highest rate was 7.9 in 1990 and the lowest rate was 5.4 in 2004; it was 5.5 in 2010.

The instability of a constant decline, or increase, is pronounced in the white race in the City of Detroit, again, probably because of a smaller number of cases.  In 1990 the rate of infant mortality for whites in the City of Detroit was 8.7 and in 2010 it was 8.5. During this 20-year period, it reached a high of 11.5 (2003) and a low of 3.4 (1996). For blacks, the infant mortality high was recorded at 23.3 in 1992 and has since decreased to 14.4 in 2010.


The above chart shows the three-year rolling average rate of infant mortality from 2008 to 2010 by cause of death. The Michigan Department of Community Health only tracked these causes per 10,000 live births, as opposed to the rates based on 1,000 live births above, because they are grouped into broader categories when being coded. Premature birth/low birth weights and congenital abnormalities  were the two highest causes of infant death, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. The rate for premature birth/low birth weights was 16.7 per 10,000 and the rate for congenital abnormality related deaths was 15.2. The cause with the lowest rate was birth trauma with a rate of 0.


The above chart compares the infant mortality rates of Detroit and Michigan to the highest and lowest international rates and the four countries with rates closest to Detroit. As can be seen, in 2010, Angola had the highest infant mortality rate of 178.3 and Monaco had the lowest with 1.78. The countries closest to Detroit 2010 infant mortality rate of  13.5 were Aruba and Turks and Caicos, which were just below the city’s rate, and the Bahamas and British Virgin Islands, which were just above it. The 2010 infant mortality rate for the U.S. is lower than both Detroit’s and Michigan’s rates.

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