Health >> Infant Mortality >> Race/Ethnicity

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American Indian/Alaska Native, multiple-race, and Black infants were more likely than Asian and White infants to die in the first year of life.

If a baby dies before his or her first birthday, that death is counted as an infant death. The number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births is known as the infant mortality rate, and is widely regarded as an indicator of the overall health of a community. 

In 2010, the infant mortality rate for King County was 4.2 deaths per 1,000 live births. Averaging 5 years of data to make demographic comparisons, the 2006-2010 rate was 4.1 per 1,000. Despite overall declines in infant mortality since the early 1990s, racial and ethnic disparities remain.

  • Infant mortality rates were lower for Asians and Whites than for Blacks, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and people of multiple races. 
  • Compared to the King County average, infant mortality rates were 3.5 times higher among American Indian/Alaska Natives and 1.6 times higher among Blacks.   
  • The infant mortality rate for Hispanics was lower than the rates for American Indians/Alaska Natives and people of multiple races, but did not differ significantly from other racial groups.
  • NOTE:  Trend data by race/ethnicity do not go back 10 years because race/ethnicity data were categorized differently beginning in 2004: Asians and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders were considered separate groups and mothers could identify as more than one race.