Black infant-mortality rate in Boston falls; still higher than white rate

The Boston Public Health Commission reported today that black infant mortality rates in the city decreased from 13.1 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2001-2004 to 7.4 in 2009-2012.

The latest rate is twice that of white infants - but that compares to a death rate four times greater in the earlier period, the commission said.

The BPHC's efforts to improve the Black low birth weight, preterm births, and the IMR have been broad and comprehensive, reflective of the complex constellation of factors that contribute to worse birth outcomes for Black infants in the city. In addition to supporting traditional public health prevention and prenatal programs, since 2008 the Commission has increasingly sought to address the impact of poverty, racism and the resulting stress on the health of Black women.

More details from BPHC.



Free tagging: 



By on

You're comparing apples to oranges here - for the most part, one has to be either filthy rich or on public assistance in order to be able to afford to raise kid(s) in Boston. You're essentially comparing the $250K+/year bugaboo/range rover crowd to the section 8 crowd - try comparing different races in the same income bracket and I guarantee the numbers will be remarkably similar regardless of the race. Black Beacon Hill lawyers and white Beacon Hill lawyers will have the same rate, and so will crackheads from Franklin Field and meth heads from Old Colony, with the latter obviously having a much higher rate than the former. Poorer segment of the population will always have higher infant mortality rates - all this study says is that overall blacks in boston are still a good deal poorer than whites, but they're much better off now than they were in early 2000s.



By on


I didn't know

Adam was on The Boston Public Health Commission and that he produced this study. That dude is really busy.

I got a raise?

By on

Where did the extra $190,000 go? When will I get it? Daycare is expensive, and eventually Waquiot Jr. might need tuition money. Of course, on the other hand, if we can get our mortgage paid with this section 8 money, we'll be okay with that too.

In short, trust me, there is still a middle class in Boston. It might be shrinking, but it is there.



By on

Per parent, or total? Raising a kid on $120k a year would be doable but by no means comfortable, but how in the world would you do it on $60k assuming you're paying rent or mortgage?



By on

My mortgage is $960 a month. That's $12,000 a year. What do I need another $48,000 for? We're doing fine on quite a lot less than $60,000 a year.

Taxes, insurance, food...

By on

Let's see:


Less SS - about $55k left
Less Mortgage - $43k left
Less property taxes - $38k left
Less homeowners ins- maybe $36k
Less food - $26k left
Less clothes $24k left
Less income tax 6% effective - $20k left
Less health/health insurance etc. - $15k left
Less retirement savings - $9k left
Less other savings for emergencies - $8k left
Less personal - hair etc. $7k left
Less utilities $5k left
Less deferred maintenance on the house you own - 1% of value - $2k left

Assuming you have no car, no MBTA, bike to work, no internet, never do anything for entertainment but walk in the park etc. etc. etc. etc.

Oh - and you don't save for college and you don't spend anything for your kids sports, music lessons etc. etc. etc. etc.

I'm sure I've missed some and I'm sure some people will say - but I cut my own hair - yadda yadda yadda - but you're goiing to struggle to raise family of 2 kids around here on $60k household income (slightly above the median).


Different figures

By on

Our yearly budget is more like

$40,000 income

Mortgage = $12,000
Property taxes = $1000
Homeowners insurance = $250
Food = $1200
Clothes = rarely buy any, included in personal/leftover
Income tax = -$5000 (EITC)
Health insurance = $0 (Masshealth)
Utilities = $600

We aren't saving for retirement or any of that other stuff you mentioned, but we have plenty left over. It's absolutely possible to happily raise a family in the city. Our budget seems to be similar to most of our neighbors.' As for activities, we cooperate with our neighbors to teach lessons and sports and whatnot, so it's not expensive. Not sure if any kids are likely to go to college, but they have free in-state tuition if they do.

You don't count

By on

EITC and Masshealth

for the most part, one has to be either filthy rich or on public assistance

You are on public assistance to the tune of about $20k per year. Not counting "free tuition for your kids".

Health care?

Health care for a family of 3 has got to be somewhere around $15K per year.

I don't see how anything we traditionally thought of as a "middle class" experience would be possible on a gross income of $60K per year, without a subsidy from the rest of us (of which, in this case, I wholeheartedly approve! Adopting as your own, loving, nurturing and raising in a wholesome, healthy home a kid whose bio-parents were for whatever reason not in a position to raise, seems to be exactly the sort of place where the world ought to be giving folks a big helping hand.)

You got me

By on

Although, we are still waiting for the extra $130,000 or housing voucher we're supposed to be getting.

On the overall point, there are lots of factors at play. Yes, a professional degree holder will probably be obsessed with the baby books and websites more than a teen mom, but regular doctor's visits, diet, environment, et al would be key for those of us in the middle.

A kid? As in 1? I make less

By on

A kid? As in 1? I make less than 60k with no child support or any kind of assistance whatsoever. Market rent and an insured, paid-off car. It's called budgeting and living within your means.


Look at related studies

By on

Health outcomes for people of color are worse even when controlled for income and education. In other words, just the stresses of dealing with racism every day are real and lead to higher rates of preterm births and other public health concerns.



By on

Then how come Asians don't have the same health issues?

How do you know that they don't?

This I gotta hear

By on

"just the stresses of dealing with racism every day are real and lead to higher rates of preterm births and other public health concerns"

Where did you hear this?


comparing human to human

By on
DIrect from article linked above:

"What's surprising about our findings is that when we take out all the factors we can observe -- including mother's age, education level, marital status and state of residence -- the difference in the rate in which black and white infants die remained absolutely stable for two decades," said Steven Haider, professor of economics. "We made no progress in shrinking that part of the gap."