Milwaukee's 'Misery Index': Infant Mortality

Play associated audio

Impoverished Third World countries often find themselves at the bottom of lists when it comes to infant mortality rates. There is a part of Milwaukee where the infant mortality rate is worse than in parts of rural China. One baby dies for every 59 that make it.

John Schmid reported on this shift in the city's health for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a part of its series "Empty Cradles."

Schmid normally reports on the economy, but there is a direct link between a city's infant mortality and its economic health. He told Rachel Martin, guest host of weekends on All Things Considered, that there are clear correlations between infant mortality and "mothers who live with chronic anxiety, financial stress, evictions."

As recently as the 1970s, Milwaukee's thriving industrial base attracted low-income workers from the South in droves. But recent globalization sent many of those jobs overseas. As Milwaukee's industry moved to China, so did its low infant mortality rate.

As Schmid puts it, "In some ways, we consider it the ultimate misery index."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Broadway Chanteuse Barbara Cook: 'My First Memories Are Of Singing'

After starring in Broadway shows like The Music Man and Candide, Cook struggled with addiction, then staged a successful second career as a cabaret singer. Her new memoir is Then and Now.
NPR

With A Zap, Scientists Create Low-Fat Chocolate

Scientists say they've figured out how to reduce the fat in milk chocolate by running it through an electric field. The result is healthier, but is it tastier?
NPR

Supreme Court Throws Out Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's Conviction

McDonnell was sentenced to two years in prison after he was convicted of public corruption. The high court, however, ruled the government used too-broad an interpretation of the federal bribery law.

NPR

Human Or Machine: Can You Tell Who Wrote These Poems?

Can a computer write a sonnet that's indistinguishable from what a person can produce? A contest at Dartmouth attempted to find out. With our online quiz, you too can give it a try.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.