Infant Mortality Within the United States
Herein I briefly overview the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) within the United States. Initially, I discuss specific causes of infant death and then, contributing factors which put babies at risk. Next, the distribution of various IMR is surveyed on a state to state basis. States possessing the ten highest infant mortality rates are discussed, including possible reasons for higher IMR. In addition, those states with the ten lowest IMR are mentioned. In conclusion, I consider preventative measures for minimizing the number of babies that die each year.
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Every eight seconds a baby is born in the United Sates (U.S.), and within one hour four babies die (1). The infant mortality rate (IMR) measures the rate at which babies die before their first birthday and is calculated per 1,000 live births. According to government figures 7.2 babies out of every 1,000 born in 1996 died (2, p 6). Although this figure declines steadily each year and is 406% lower than the 1950 figure (3) the United States IMR is still higher than twenty four other nations (1). More importantly, the IMR for black U.S. citizens is over twice the rate of white citizens (6.3 and 14.6 respectively) (4, p 9). The National Commission to Prevent Infant Mortality even calls some regions "disaster areas" (5, p 18). What are the leading causes of infant death, and what areas within the United States are most affected? What preventative measures can ensure a child its first birthday? These questions are addressed herein. In addition, certain National Standards for Geography are met.
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Applicable National Standards
In 1994 a committee of educators came together with the intent of providing national standards for history and geography students on the elementary and high school level. Upon graduation from high school, students should master eighteen basic principles. This paper provides an opportunity for students to know and understand three of these guidelines. First, students will know how to use maps and graphical tools to acquire, process, and report information (number one of the National Standards). Hot links connect data presented throughout the text to pie graphs, bar graphs, charts, tables, and a map located at appropriate web sites. Second, the students will know and understand that people define regions and will be able to use them to interpret the world’s (or the United States) changing complexity (number five of the National Standards). For various reasons infant mortality rate within the United States is higher among regions in which certain populations live. Knowledge concerning the distribution of these populations facilitates the students’ understanding of IMR distribution. Third, the student will know and understand that culture and experience influence people’s perceptions of places and experiences (number six...