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Riddle me this: why is our infant mortality rate higher than other developed countries? The U.S. spends about 17% of its GDP on health care while other developed countries spend an average of 9%. Doesn’t that mean we should have healthier babies?

Two main reasons for the high infant mortality rate

-Higher rate of premature babies. In underdeveloped countries, infant mortality can be attributed to preventable illnesses, such as diarrhea. However, the U.S. has a high number of preterm births, with the CDC stating that, “One in 8 births in the United States were born preterm, compared with 1 in 18 births in Ireland and Finland” (CDC).  One way of preventing preterm babies is promoting education. Women with lower education rates have a higher risk of delivering premature babies(CNN).

-Lack of/barriers to health care. Many women do not have access to health care, whereas many other developed countries offer services to pregnant women. Japan, Sweden, and Spain (amongst other countries on the list) have universal health care (TrueCost).

“Infant mortality is one of the most important indicators of the health of a  nation, as it is associated with a variety of factors such as maternal health,  quality and access to medical care, socioeconomic conditions, and public health practices” (CDC).


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