South Carolina’s infant mortality rate declined modestly in 2020, however it remained well above the national average and the rate of infant deaths among babies born to non-Hispanic black women continued to climb.
According to a report (.pdf) from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), the Palmetto State’s infant mortality rate stood at 6.5 infant deaths per every 1,000 live births last year – down from 6.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2019. According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national infant mortality rate stood at 5.58 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2019 – the most recent year for which nationwide data is available.
Infant mortality is defined by CDC as “the death of an infant before his or her first birthday,” and the rate is expressed as the “number of infant deaths for every 1,000 live births.”
According to SCDHEC, 55,703 babies were born in the Palmetto State in 2020 – a 2.3 percent decline from 2019. Of those live births, 364 infants died “within their first year of life.”
The infant mortality rate among babies born to non-Hispanic black women was much higher than the statewide average – registering 10.8 deaths per 1,000 live births. That is more than twice as high as the 4.5 deaths per 1,000 live births among babies born to non-Hispanic white women.
“Between 2016 and 2020, the disparity in infant mortality has widened between births to non-Hispanic white women compared to births to non-Hispanic black women,” SCDHEC noted in its release of the data.
“It’s clear to see that minority groups are continuing to experience the majority of these heartbreaking losses,” said Kimberly Seals, SCDHEC’s director of maternal and child health.
My news outlet has previously covered America’s ongoing fertility crisis, which I have attributed to “the cultural (and perhaps chemical) de-masculinization of America.”
While it is nice to see the Palmetto State making modest progress on the infant mortality front, the ongoing decline in the number of live births in South Carolina – and across the nation – remains a cause for concern. Why? Well, given the extent to which previous and current generations of political “leaders” have foisted the fiscal consequences of their bad decisions onto future generations, future generations better be around to pay the freight.
A half-century ago there were six people working for every retiree. In recent decades, that number dipped to 3.3 workers for every retiree, according to the latest report from the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). In the coming decade, that ratio will fall to two workers for every retiree – placing an even greater strain on the existing workforce.
Meanwhile, simple economic math dictates that for an economy to grow its customer base must expand. And a shrinking population means a shrinking customer base.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that Los Angeles Dodgers’ lid pictured above).
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