Infant Mortality Rate Highest in Wayne County

In Southeastern Michigan, Wayne County had the highest infant mortality rate in 2016 at 8.3 deaths per 1,000 births, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Of the 23,146 births in Wayne County in 2016 there were 192 deaths. St. Clair and Washtenaw counties had the second highest rates in the region, each at 5.7 deaths per 1,000 births. In St Clair County there were nine infant deaths out of the 1,591 births in 2016 and in Washtenaw County there were 21 infant deaths of the reported 3,695 births that year. Of the seven counties Livingston County had the lowest infant mortality rate. According to the data, there were four infant deaths in Livingston County in 2016 of the reported 1,783 births.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services data shows that every other county in Southeastern Michigan, with the exception of Washtenaw County, also experienced a decline in its infant mortality rate between 2015 and 2016. For Washtenaw County the infant mortality rate for 2016 was reported at 5.7 deaths per 1,000 births and for 2015 it was 3.8 deaths per 1,000 births.


Historical data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services shows the 2016 infant mortality rate of 8.3 for Wayne County is the lowest it has been since at least 1989. Data from the department shows that in 2015 the infant death rate in Wayne County was 9.5, in 2014 it was 9.3 and in 2013 it was 9.1. These rates, aside from the 2016 rate, were also the lowest reported rates for Wayne County since at least 1989.


According to an August Detroit News article infant mortality rates have declined in Detroit. The article discusses how research correlates higher rates of infant death to disparities such as poverty, access to food and lack of access to education, transportation and health care. In 2016 the infant mortality rate for Detroit was reported at 13.1 per 1,000 infants and in 2015 it was reported at 14.4. The infant mortality rate for the state of Michigan in 2016 was 6.8 deaths per 1,000 births.


While data shows that infant death rates are decreasing in Southeastern Michigan there are still concerns over pregnancy related maternal death rates in Michigan. Drawing Detroit is working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to obtain this data to examine how rates have changed over recent years.




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