Immigrant Moms Typically Have Lower Infant Mortality Rates Than U.S.-born Mothers

Katherine Harmon

crying newbornThe likelihood that a baby born in the U.S. will die within its first year is less than a third of what it was 50 years ago. But among mothers who were, themselves, born in the U.S., infant mortality rates are some 40 percent higher than for U.S.-born babies of non-native mothers.
Only Cuban and Puerto Rican mothers born outside of the U.S. had higher infant mortality rates than their counterparts who had been born here.
The new assessment, from a recent report [pdf] by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, assessed the number of infant deaths (averaged per 1,000 live births in 2007) of Asian, black, Central and South American, Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican and white mothers.
Mothers of African descent who were born in the U.S. had by far the highest infant mortality rates (13.37 deaths per 1,000 births). The lowest rates were among mothers of Asian or Pacific Island heritage who had been born abroad (4.25 per 1,000 births).

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