The graph below presents the 2008 infant mortality rates of African American, Caucasian and Illinois' entire population. The rate among African Americans, while the second lowest on record, is at an unacceptably high level of 13.9 per 1,000 live births.

Infant Mortality by Race in Illinois between 1980-2008

IL White Black
1980 14.7 12.1 26.3
1981 13.9 11.6 24.5
1982 13.6 11.4 24.6
1983 12.3 10.0 23.2
1984 12.0 9.7 22.1
1985 11.6 9.4 21.4
1986 12.0 9.6 22.3
1987 11.6 9.6 20.7
1988 11.2 9.1 20.9
1989 11.7 8.7 22.0
1990 10.7 7.4 22.1
1991 10.7 7.7 21.1
1992 10.0 7.4 19.5
1993 9.6 7.2 18.8
1994 9.0 6.7 17.9
1995 9.3 7.4 18.2
1996 8.4 6.3 17.5
1997 8.2 6.1 16.5
1998 8.2 6.3 16.8
1999 8.3 6.0 17.3
2000 8.3 6.2 16.3
2001 7.5 6.1 14.7
2002 7.2 5.4 15.6
2003 7.6 6.1 15.6
2004 7.3 5.8 15.1
2005 7.2 5.8 15.1
2006 7.4 5.9 14.3
2007 6.6 5.2 13.4
2008 7.2 5.8 13.9

Table 6 presents the ratio of African American to Caucasian infant mortality rates. While the state has made steady progress in the reduction of infant mortality, the racial disparity between African American and Caucasian infants has not appreciably improved. The benefits of technological advances and perinatal care for mothers and infants continue to be realized as seen by reductions in mortality for both white and black infants.

Racial disparity in health status is one of the top priorities of the Division of Family and Community Services. The Department will continue to work with partners at the federal, state and community level to identify, develop and implement new strategies to address this pressing health problem.

Table 6:  Ratio of African American and Caucasian Infant Mortality in Illinois:  1981 - 2008

YEAR RATIO
1981 2.1 : 1
1982 2.2 : 1
1983 2.3 : 1
1984 2.3 : 1
1985 2.3 : 1
1986 2.3 : 1
1987 2.2 : 1
1988 2.3 : 1
1989 2.5 : 1
1990 2.9 : 1
1991 2.7 : 1
1992 2.6 : 1
1993 2.7 : 1
1994 2.7 : 1
1995 2.5 : 1
1996 2.8 : 1
1997 2.7 : 1
1998 2.7 : 1
1999 2.8 : 1
2000 2.5 : 1
2001 2.5 : 1
2002 2.8 : 1
2003 2.6 : 1
2004 2.5 : 1
2005 2.7 : 1
2006 2.4 : 1
2007 2.6 : 1
2008 2.4 : 1