Pediatrics: Declining Decline in Infant Deaths

For all its wealth and scientific progress, the U.S. ranks below at least eleven other nations in its ability to help infants survive their first year of life. During that first twelve months, 23.8 out of every 1,000 U.S. babies die, compared with 12.6 in Sweden, 14.7 in The Netherlands. Among other nations ranking ahead of the U.S.: Denmark with 17 deaths per 1,000, Switzerland with 17.2, Japan with 18.3, and France with 21.7. Among the worst: Guatemala with 91.5.

It wasn't always that way. From 1936 through 1950, the infant-mortality rate...

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