Infant Mortality in Detroit

Despite the existence of high quality, nationally recognized health systems in metropolitan Detroit, the local infant mortality rate is appallingly high. Large racial disparities exist in infant mortality rates. Black babies in Detroit are over two times as likely to die before their first birthdays compared to white babies. WIN Network: Detroit is working to reduce this disparity and ensure babies survive and thrive past their first birthday.

Infant Mortality

Source: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Vital Statistics

From 2013 to 2019, the infant mortality rate for Black infants in Detroit worsened, while the infant mortality rate for white infants improved. The Black infant mortality rate from 2016-2018 in Detroit was 15.9 per 1,000 live births. This means that for every 1,000 Black babies born, approximately 16 would not live past one year of age. Reducing these deaths requires bold, innovative solutions built for Black moms, babies, and families.

According to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services data, Detroit’s infant mortality rate plunged from 16.7 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2018 to 11 per 1,000 live births in 2019, representing a one-third rate reduction. Also promising is a significant closing of the disparity between black babies and white babies dying before their first birthday. In 2018 the rate was 18.9 for black babies compared to 6.4 for white babies. In 2019, that gap closed dramatically with a rate of 12.3 for black babies and 9.7 for white babies.

Mayor Duggan and Dr. Khaldun credited a communitywide effort among a wide group of government, private health care, and nonprofit organizations that have worked for years – in some cases decades – to improve the odds of survival for babies born in Detroit, including WIN Network: Detroit.

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