While the infant mortality rate has dropped to a new low, Ohio still lags behind the progress made in other states (Source: “U.S. infant mortality rate hits historic low, Ohio lags other states in progress,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 21, 2017).
The nation's infant mortality rate has dropped to a new low, falling by 15 percent between 2005 and 2014, according to data released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ohio, though, has lagged behind other states in improving its high infant mortality rate over the same period, with less than a 12 percent drop over the same period.
Nationally, the infant mortality rate fell to 5.82 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2014 -- down from a high of 6.86 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005, according to the CDC report. Ohio's 2015 infant mortality rate was 7.2 per 1,000, or 1,005 infant deaths. That's about 24 percent higher than the national rate and up from 6.8 the year before.
Ohio continues to struggle with a large racial gap in infant deaths. Nationally, the infant mortality rate fell from 2005 to 2014 across most racial groups. But the mortality rate for non-Hispanic black women, which fell by 20 percent during the period, was still more than double that for non-Hispanic white women. In Ohio, the racial gap is even wider. In 2015, a black baby born in the state was about three times as likely to die before reaching a first birthday as a white baby. That's up from 2.3 in 2013 and 2.7 in 2014.