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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: