Racial Equity
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity
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Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, County Health Rankings

What does this measure?

The number of deaths among infants (under age 1) in various racial or ethnic groups, expressed as a rate per 1,000 live births and averaged over three years.

Why is this important?

Infant mortality reflects the overall health status of a population and indirectly is a measure of the effectiveness and availability of quality health care, particularly prenatal care.

How is our county performing?

In 2019-21, Worcester County had an overall infant mortality rate of 3.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, on par with the state but lower than the nation (5.5). Infant mortality was highest among Black and African Americans, with 6.9 deaths per 1,000 live births. Rates for Whites and Latinos were half the African American rate, with 3.3 and 3.0 deaths per live births, respectively. The infant mortality rate among African Americans was similar to the state (7.0) but lower than the nation (10.5).

Why do these disparities exist?

Racial disparities in infant mortality emerge from systems that perpetuate structural racism. Higher death rates among infants of color are directly tied to maternal access to prenatal care throughout pregnancy and quality of care. National research has shown that mothers of color are less likely to receive prenatal care in part because they tend to live in communities with fewer health care providers including neonatal services. While women of color from under-resourced communities gain access to health care via Medicaid, they are often underinsured. Discriminatory treatment by health care providers influences whether the health care needs of women of color are adequately addressed, putting mothers and their infants at higher risk of mortality. The racism experienced by expectant mothers of color in their everyday lives at work and in their neighborhoods (e.g. food insecurity, environmental toxins) place mothers and their infants at higher risk of premature death. The overall health of expectant mothers of color and access to comprehensive health care including gynecological services before pregnancy also contributes to premature infant death.

Notes about the data

Rates are averaged over three years because some geographies or groups have small numbers, making it difficult to distinguish true changes from random fluctuations.

Data not presented for all racial/ethnic groups where the counts were too small to provide reliable rates.

Infant Mortality Rate by Race/Ethnicity, 2019-21
AllBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoWhite
Worcester County4733
Massachusetts4753

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, County Health Rankings
Notes: Rates per 1,000 births. Data not presented for all racial/ethnic groups where the counts were too small to provide reliable rates.







INDICATORS TREND
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments 1
Increasing
Average Charitable Contribution 0
Maintaining
Households With Internet Access 1
Increasing
Protected Land 10 Not Applicable*
Voter Participation Rate -1
Decreasing
Voter Registration Rate 0
Maintaining
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Change in Total Population 1
Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Foreign-Born Population 1
Increasing
Language Diversity 1
Increasing
Population by Age -1
Decreasing
Households by Type 0
Maintaining
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Median Household Income 0
Maintaining
Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
80/20 Income Ratio 0
Maintaining
Income in Relation to Poverty Level 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Age 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Overall Housing Cost Burden -1
Decreasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Homelessness 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance 0
Maintaining
Households Without Vehicles 0
Maintaining
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Change in Employment by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Change in Average Salary by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Female to Male Earnings Ratio 0
Maintaining
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Employer Size 1
Increasing
Business Ownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Self-Employment Revenue 0
Maintaining
People Entering/Leaving County for Work 1
Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Preterm Births 10 Not Applicable*
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels -1
Decreasing
Prevalence of Children with Asthma 1
Increasing
People with Disabilities 1
Increasing
People Without Health Insurance -1
Decreasing
Cancer Incidence 0
Maintaining
Diabetes Incidence -1
Decreasing
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions 1
Increasing
Opioid Overdose Mortality Rate 1
Increasing
Children Living in Poverty 0
Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Economically Disadvantaged Students 1
Increasing
Disengaged Youth -1
Decreasing
Prekindergarten Participation -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Student Group 1
Increasing
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Business Ownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Student Group 1
Increasing





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