How does the health of infants and children in America’s
cities compare to that of children nationwide? This section presents
data on infant mortality, low birth weight, and health care for
children and pregnant women who reside in the nation’s cities
with populations over 100,000 residents.
As the data in this section indicate, the health status of children
living in large U.S. cities is generally inferior to that of children
in the nation as a whole. In 2002, the percentage of infants born
at low birth weight was 9 percent higher for residents of U.S. cities
compared to the national average (8.5 percent versus 7.8 percent).
While the infant mortality rate has decreased in both cities and
the nation as a whole, a difference in rates remains. Higher rates
of low birth weight contributed to the city infant mortality rate
of 7.4 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2001; the national rate for
2001 was 6.9 per 1,000. The percentage of pregnant women receiving
first trimester prenatal care is lower in cities (80.8 percent)
than it is nationwide (83.7 percent).
The section includes information on these subjects: