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Good Health

Good Health
a baby being held as doctor hold a stethoscope against their chest

The State of Babies Yearbook: 2021 shows wide variation in babies’ health outcomes and their families’ access to care—both key factors related to good health. For example:

  • Nationally, maternal mortality occurs at a rate of 17 deaths per 100,000 live births, but the rates among Black women are more than two times higher than the national average.
  • On average, six in 1,000 babies born in the United States will not survive to see their first birthday. Mortality is nearly twice as high for Black infants and slightly higher for American Indian/Alaska Native infants as the national average.
  • As many as one in 12 babies are born at a low birthweight. The rate of low birthweight is markedly higher than the national average among Black infants, at one in seven. 
  • Close to one in 10 infants and toddlers had a well child visit in the previous 12 months. Babies in families with low income were less likely to have a well child visit than babies in families above low income.

Explore this year’s updated maternal and child health brief, Racism Creates Inequities in Maternal and Child Health, Even Before Birth. 

“… With everything in me feel like if I had been another race, I wouldn’t have had that hard of a time getting them to see what was going on with my baby.”

Watch Anna’s story.


Physically and emotionally healthy babies are more likely to become healthy, stable, successful adults. Good nutrition, nurturing relationships with parents and caregivers, and high-quality medical care support sound bodies and minds and influence all areas of a child’s development.

To grow up healthy, babies need policy supports that effectively address: 

  • Health Care Access/Affordability
  • Food Security
  • Food Nutrition 
  • Maternal Health 
  • Child Health 
  • Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health