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Monday numbers: A closer look at North Carolina’s infant mortality rates

[1]African American babies were nearly three times as likely to die in 2018 in North Carolina than white babies. The state can do better, but to address the issue, it must know the extent of the crisis. Below are just a few of the numbers to reflect how big the problem is in this state.  

There will also be four panelists at a Crucial Conversation breakfast in Raleigh Tuesday to discuss why so many African American babies in North Carolina are dying and how the state can tackle the problem. Learn more about and register for the event here [2] 

806 – the number of infant deaths in North Carolina in 2018 

852 – the number of infant deaths in the state in 2017 

12.2 per 1,000 live births – the African American infant mortality rate in 2018 

5 per 1,000 live birthsthe white infant mortality rate in 2018 

13.8 percent – percentage of African American live births in 2015 to 2017 born preterm  

11.9 percent – percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native live births in 2015 to 2017 born preterm 

9.3 percent – percentage of white live births in 2015 to 2017 born preterm 

48 percent – how much higher the preterm birth rate among African American women is than the rate among all other women 

$64,000 – the estimated societal cost per preterm birth, including medical care for premature children, maternal delivery costs, early intervention services, special education services and lost productivity 

2.44 – number of times more likely to die than white infants that African American babies were in 2018 

4 or more – number of times more likely in these North Carolina counties: Bladen, Pender, Pamlico, Bertie, Chowan, Currituck, Person, Caswell, Yadkin, Lincoln, Clay and Macon 

1.92 – the disparity ratio North Carolina has committed to reaching by 2025 as part of its Early Childhood Action Plan 

Sources: March of Dimes, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and The News & Observer