Infant Mortality and Socioeconomic Status: New Bottle, Same Old Wine

Edward Stockwell, Bowling Green State University
Franklin Goza, Bowling Green State University
Kelly Balistreri, Bowling Green State University

This paper presents results of an ecological analysis of the relationship between infant mortality and economic status in metropolitan Ohio for the period 1960-2000. The data examined are centered on the five censuses undertaken during this 40 year period. The most important conclusion to be drawn from the data is that in spite of some very remarkable declines in infant mortality at all class levels since 1960, there continues to be a very clear and pronounced inverse association between income status and infant mortality. Indeed, the evidence indicates that the relationship has become stronger over the years. These observations are applicable for both sexes, for whites and nonwhites, for neonatal and postneonatal deaths, and for both major cause of death groups. It is concluded that while public health programs are important, any progress in narrowing this long standing differential is unlikely unless ways can be found to enhance the economic well being of the lower socioeconomic groups.

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Presented in Session 110: Infant Mortality and Social Inequality