Fewer infants died in South Carolina last year, pushing the state’s infant mortality rate slightly closer to the national average.
But data published by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control shows that all improvement was observed exclusively among White babies, further widening the large racial gap that exists between White and Black infant deaths.
In 2019, Black infants born in South Carolina were nearly three times as likely as White babies to die before their first birthday.
DHEC spokeswoman Laura Renwick said agency experts haven’t finished analyzing the 2019 infant mortality data. The department’s official report is expected to be ready sometime later this month, she said.
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) October 11, 2020