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Alabama's infant mortality rate increased from 2020 to 2021, remaining higher than the national average.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), Alabama's infant mortality rate is 7.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, with 443 infants dying during their first year of life.

For 2021, the rate showed an increase of 8.6% from the previous year, along with an increase in several birth metrics, including infant deaths, fetal deaths, premature births, live births and estimated pregnancies.

According to ADPH data, the percentage of low-weight births decreased from 10.8 to 10.5. The rate of births with no prenatal care decreased from 2.6% to 2.2%. For births with no prenatal care, 52.5% were to white mothers, 52.4% were to mothers aged 20-29, and Medicaid paid 74.7%. 

In Alabama, the number of live births overall increased from 57,643 in 2020 to 58,040 in 2021. Although births to mothers in the Black and Other racial category decreased from 20,151 in 2020 to 19,170 in 2021, births to white mothers increased from 37,492 in 2020 to 38,870 in 2021.

Overall, teen birth rates went down. However, births to black teen mothers increased slightly to 8.5 per 1,000, up from 8.3 in 2020.

According to the CDC, Alabama has consistently had an infant mortality rate higher than the national average. For as long as the CDC has recorded infant mortality, Alabama has had a record higher than the national average. In 2020, Alabama had 6.9 death per 1,000 against the average of 5.4 in the nation. In 2019, Alabama had 7.1 against the national number of 5.5.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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