Detroit’s Infant Mortality Rate Rivals Areas of Third World

Karen Bouffard, The Detroit News, January 30, 2014

Like most new moms, 19-year-old Alaina Gonville loves her newborn son, Brandon, with all her heart.

But like so many babies born in Detroit, little Brandon has faced more than his share of challenges from the minute he entered the world five weeks early, on Oct. 28, at Harper University Hospital.

More babies, like Brandon, are born prematurely in Detroit than in any major city in the United States, a Detroit News investigation found.

Prematurity, whose deadly side effects include brain hemorrhages, collapsed lungs and failing organs, is the leading killer of Detroit’s babies. It’s the major component of infant mortality—a catch-all term comprising all conditions that claim children before their first birthday.

Infant mortality is the No. 1 killer of Detroit children; violence is second. In 2011 alone, 130 of the 208 Detroit children who died that year had not yet marked their first birthday.


The News found that Detroit has more babies born to moms who are under 20, like Gonville, and to single women, than in any other major American city. And often, those young women are not themselves in good health and otherwise ill-equipped to have babies.


The challenges of caring for an infant are daunting in one of the nation’s poorest, most violent cities. Detroit’s infant mortality rate is the worst among big U.S. cities, and worse than some Third-World countries: 13.5 for every 1,000 live births in 2010, the most recent year for which comprehensive data are available.

Foundations, hospitals, social service and government agencies are attempting to tackle the problem through nurse visits, parenting programs and even special tests and treatment for physical conditions found more frequently among black Detroit women. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation alone invests $25 million annually in grants to projects that improve health and well-being in Detroit.

The cocktail of remedies can’t come fast enough: 2,300 Detroit babies died before their first birthday between 2000 and 2011, the most recent year data are available from the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Factors include pervasive poverty, young and uninformed mothers, poor prenatal care and even race.


Experts blame a confluence of health risks for Detroit’s high infant mortality rate, including inadequate health care, information, support and know-how by young mothers.

Eighty percent of new Detroit mothers are unmarried, compared with 42 percent of all Michigan moms, which may mean they have less support—financial as well as emotional—than women with husbands. Also, the city has more teen moms than any other in America: 18 percent.


Exacerbating the situation: The city has a shortage of primary care physicians, and not all accept Medicaid. Pregnant women are challenged to find safe housing, healthy food and transportation.

Detroit’s high concentration of African-Americans may also play a role in the city’s infant mortality rate, because preterm births are more common in African-Americans for reasons not fully understood.

African-American babies also face greater risks of death in their first days of life, according to Romero.

“There is an ethnic disparity,” Romero said. “If we look at the period from birth to 28 days, African-Americans have a mortality rate that’s approximately double of Caucasians.”


Michigan is expanding by nearly 500,000 the number of state residents eligible for Medicaid. That expansion takes effect April 1 and could have significant impact on Detroit’s infant mortality problem, said U-M’s Dr. Davis. Gov. Rick Snyder also has made infant mortality a priority, and a state Infant Mortality Reduction Plan was developed in 2012.

According to Davis, women who are not pregnant or nursing are currently ineligible for Medicaid, and as a result, many low-income women enter pregnancy in poor health. Mothers are then kicked out of Medicaid coverage just weeks after delivering their babies, he said.


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  • Alfred the Great

    It’s because Detroit is now a third world area!

    • Oil Can Harry

      Premature births are not caused by “white racism” but often because of the mother previously using drugs or having abortions.

      • borogirl54

        Many of these pregnancies are high risk because the mothers are not healthy when they get pregnant and many are substance abusers. Many of these kids will end up in the foster care system that is already strained because the mothers are unable to take care of them.

      • JohnEngelman

        Guards! Seize that man! He is guilty of telling the truth about racial differences.

  • All you need to know from this story is three words from the headline — Detroit Third World.

  • Spartacus

    “If we look at the period from birth to 28 days, African-Americans have a
    mortality rate that’s approximately double of Caucasians.”


    Excuse me while I go get another beer .

    • NeanderthalDNA

      Detroit’s infant mortality rate rivals areas of the third world…

      Because Deeeetoilet is the third world!

      Become a master of the obvious – beginning and end of wisdom…

      • NeanderthalDNA

        Liblefties, by the way, are masters of ignoring the obvious.

    • bigone4u

      Beer is for drowning your sorrows. I’ll have champagne instead. “A toast to the fine mothers of Detroit. May your incompetence and stupidity reign supreme.”

      • Strider73

        A toast to all the whites and Asians who will never be crime victims, because the criminals died before their 1st birthday.

    • Conrad

      Double? We can do better than that, surely.

  • Kenner

    ‘And, often, those young women are not in good health…’ trans: on drugs.

  • Druid

    i’m amused…

  • Evette Coutier

    Finally, good news from Detroit.

  • Lewis33

    “Eighty percent of new Detroit mothers are unmarried, compared with 42 percent of all Michigan moms, which may mean they have less support—financial as well as emotional—than women with husbands.”

    But, but the feminists told me that single women can have it all? Are you saying that black women aren’t up to it, or that the feminists were totally wrong? One or the other, Karen.

    • borogirl54

      They can’t. The kids suffer without a father. No single mother can teach a boy to be a man. This is why boys from single parent homes are more likely to be in prison than in college or in the job market.

      • LHathaway

        Maybe there’s a lot of truth in this. . and AA’s in particular believe in nothing so much as a male centered view or in the importance of the black male. . . but in truth. . some of these kids are lucky the father is not in the home. . .

  • Black babies have black mothers who, being black tend to be somewhere between really stupid and “Oh my God”, probably closer to the latter. Aside from their substance abuse, they don’t take good care of their children.

    Afritards are usually incompetent parents.

  • sbuffalonative

    The city has a shortage of primary care physicians

    Check the ER.

  • Truthseeker

    Ever since it was taken over by blacks, Detroit’s crime has gone up, infrastructure has decayed, and resources have left the city. They probably go around telling themselves it’s because of “racism,” but the truth is that their behavior drove out all the competent people who could keep the city running smoothly. If a bunch of white people behaved in the same third-world way, the same thing would’ve happened.

    Blacks, look in the mirror. You want more power, more political authority and more control. It’s understandable. Every group wants that. However, with greater power comes greater responsibility. If you can’t handle that responsibility, your failure falls on you.

  • bigone4u

    A higher abortion rate for Detroit would help solve this “problem” that I don’t care about, other than the fact that white families are paying for the sex, drugs, and pregnancies that result. Planned Parenthood, you’re needed in Detroit!

  • Marc Zuckurburg

    You see the infant mortality of black babies. I see a great propaganda opportunity to hide behind black babies to distract the world from my evil scams.

    • Magician

      How is your “beautiful” Asian wife doing, Mr. Zuckerberg?

  • Luca

    “… preterm births are more common in African-Americans for reasons not fully understood.”

    Let’s try: venereal diseases, tobacco, drug & alcohol addiction, domestic violence, junk food diet, obesity, sex at an early age, numerous abortions, and crack cocaine.

    That’s just off the top of my head.

    I hope that helps them understand a little better.

  • Grant3131

    “…preterm births are more common in African-Americans for reasons not fully understood.”
    “African-Americans have a mortality rate that’s approximately double of Caucasians.”


    In fact chart ANYTHING with quantifiable, empirical data and it goes
    1. Asian
    2. Caucasian
    3. Amerindian/Latino
    4. Negroid

    EXCEPT FOR BEAUTY! Whites aren’t the face of high fashion because of institutional racism.

    • Alexandra1973

      Their lifestyle wouldn’t have anything to do with it now, would it?

    • borogirl54

      Asian American mothers would likely be older than blacks because they would have completed their education before getting married and then having children.

      • Grant3131

        Removing/equalizing all environmental factors the same outcomes are shown. IT. IS. GENETIC. IT. IS. GENETIC. IT. IS. GENETIC.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    Detroit doesn’t have a crime problem or an infant mortality problem or an unemployment problem. Detroit has a black problem.

  • 1stworlder

    Years ago one of these type stories came out and someone linked that the infant mortality rate of blacks in 1stworld hospitals with WIC, prenatal vitamins hospital births paid for by taxpayers was worse than whites during the bubonic plague.

  • Magician

    Mr. Chinaman has been providing the “entertainment” on AmRen for a while by now and once in a while we do read hilarious headlines on AmRen….

    such as “I punched a 78 year old woman in self-defence because of the way the 78 year old woman looked” or “Detroit infant mortality rate rivals areas of third world”

  • LHathaway

    This is on a giant billboard on the city buses in my town. . . ‘In the first year, black babies are twice as likely to die’

    I guess now we’re trying to pacify certain ethnic groups instead of angering them. . .

  • HJ11

    I don’t care. They are not my kind. All human genotypes are in competition with each other, and the one that can expand the most and crowd out the others wins. I want the White genotype to expand and crowd out all others.

    Does this sound harsh to you? Well, it’s the exact same way nature works. I’m only putting it in words.

  • negrolocaust

    groups consisting of of 3 blacks just beat an elderly white flint michigan bus driver and a young
    white boy in philly in knockout game attacks while filming it and laughing. white
    people go buy a handgun now and carry it even if it is illegal your life
    means more. stop being cowards. get a keltec it worked for zimmerman. stop being a disgrace.

  • JohnEngelman

    Factors include pervasive poverty, young and uninformed mothers, poor prenatal care and even race.

    – Karen Bouffard, The Detroit News, January 30, 2014

    Additional factors are low black IQ’s and high rates of black illegitimacy.

    Crime contributes too. What doctor wants to make a house visit to a neighborhood where he is likely to be mugged, robbed at gunpoint, or murdered?

    • You also forgot drug use, morbid obesity and a prenatal diet heavy in fried, salty food.

      My wife took calcium citrate supplements when she was pregnant with our daughter. Ariadne’s teeth are so good, you’d probably need a jackhammer to get one of them out.

      • Reverend Bacon

        Yeah, they thought that about Winston Smith, but after his long stay in the dungeons of Big Brother, they simply plucked them out barehanded.

        “Be careful out there. Let’s do it to them before they do it to us.” -Steven Bochco

    • Reverend Bacon

      I think it’s like talking about their IQ’s– nature as well as nurture. Blacks have higher mortality rates even among rich blacks; they are also more likely to have larger litters (multiple births) and to deliver earlier.

      I have recently heard of the theory of r/K selection, which makes sense here. Blacks have higher mortality, so they breed more. Whites focus on nurturing their fewer offspring, trying to ensure that they thrive.

      It’s a bit like ants or cockroaches- they really don’t care if a few of them get squashed, as long as some of them make it past the shoe to breed again. Think about this as it relates to the suicide-by-cop that so many blacks use as a way of helping their pack, through the ghetto lottery payments that inevitably come.

      So this guy’s quote: ““There is an ethnic disparity,” Romero said. “If we look at the period from birth to 28 days, African-Americans have a mortality rate that’s approximately double of Caucasians.”” may be accurate, but it’s misleading. As always, they want to change one part of the equation by diverting resources from whites, but they don’t worry about the other part of the equation, the part about them breeding more rapidly.

  • jeffaral

    Some good news at last!

  • Truth Teller

    Detoilet mothers also have extremely high rates of STD’s which have a detrimental effect on infant mortality. Chalmidia causes miscarriages. All STDs harm the unborn babies. The answer of course is to give more blacks $100,000 salaries as executive directors of non profits dedicated to raising consciousness abut STDs. Fee Fi Fo Fum I smell a grant hustling non profit pimp scrounging for more grant money.