We used information from the CDC to determine the states with the highest infant mortality rate and the reasons behind it. Note, the states with the highest infant mortality rates were, by and large, in the southern U.S. and had large black populations and high poverty rates.
But overall, regardless of region and of poverty rate, some states with relatively low poverty rates still had high infant mortality rates due to issues of racial disparity and distribution of socio-economic resources related to those glaring racial disparities. Infants with the highest death rate were black (11.4), followed by Native Americans (9.4), Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (7.4), Latino (5.0), non-Hispanic white (4.9) and then Asian (3.6). For the teen birth rate, the data was restricted to the number of live births per 1,000 females aged 15-19. For our data on poverty, we used the statistics provided by TalkPoverty.org, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of poverty in the U.S. The poverty line is defined as $24,860 for a family of four people, and the ranking includes all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.
With this data in mind, here’s the list of the 27 states with the most alarming infant mortality rates, ranked from lowest to highest.