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Infant Mortality in Southern States: A Bureaucratic Nightmare

Author: CHARLES E. MENIFIELD and JACOB DAWSON
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 31 No. 3

Despite numerous advances in technology, medicine, and health care, infant mortality continues to reach very high levels in southern states. The purpose of this paper is to examine demographic, economic, and health care factors that are likely to affect infant mortality. In so doing, we first compare infant mortality and other critical factors in southern states to other regions of the country. Second, we use cross tabulation tables to determine if there is a correlation between infant mortality and several independent variables. Third, we use regression analysis to determine how each of these variables affects the change in infant mortality for the 1990-2003 periods.
The results of the cross tabulation tables indicate relationships between infant mortality and each of the independent variables. When these variables were placed in a regression model, high school graduation rates, race, geographic region, unemployment rates, uninsured rates, teenage pregnancy rates, single parent families, and the number of doctors and hospitals were significant.

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