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Alcorn County Suffers From High Infant Mortality Rate, State Report Shows

This chart from the Mississippi State Department of Health shows the infant mortality rate for the 20 most populated counties in the state. Alcorn County has the second highest overall rate and the highest rate for blacks among those counties.

By Josh Mitchell 

Corinth Today News Editor

Alcorn County had the second highest infant mortality rate out of the 20 most populated counties in the state, according to a new report from the Mississippi State Department of Health.

Alcorn County had an average infant mortality rate of 12.3 deaths per 1,000 live births between 2012-2016, the report released this week says.

Out of the 20 most populated counties in the state, Forrest County had the highest rate of 12.5 closely followed by Alcorn County.

But Alcorn County had the highest black infant mortality rate among the top 20 counties. Alcorn County’s black infant mortality rate was 30.8 deaths per 1,000 live births compared to 8.2 for whites. That means the black infant mortality rate was 275 percent higher than the rate for whites in Alcorn County.

Out of the 20 most populated counties, the county with the next highest black infant mortality rate after Alcorn County was Pearl River County at 25 infant deaths per 1,000 live births and then Oktibbeha at 17.3.

Statewide, the infant mortality rate decreased overall in 2016. But the white infant mortality rate increased in 2016 while it decreased for blacks.

The leading causes of infant mortality are preterm births, birth defects and sudden unexpected infant deaths, especially due to unsafe sleeping environments. Mississippi has the highest preterm birth rate in the country.

Statewide, there were 37,928 births in 2016 and 327 infant deaths, the report adds.

The state has set a goal of lowering the infant mortality rate to 6 per 1,000 live births by 2020. Mississippi has the worst infant mortality rate in the nation, the report says.

Factors such as tobacco use, obesity and diabetes can impact infant health. There has been a decline in tobacco use during pregnancy in recent years. About a quarter of infant deaths occurred among mothers who smoked during pregnancy.

Click here to read the report from the Mississippi State Department of Health.


  1. Mike Mike January 11, 2018

    Almost every year I see an infant that is found dead while sleeping in the bed with a parent or parents. This is AVOIDABLE!!!!! Wake up Corinth and Alcorn county and get your babies out of your bed. Autopsies are being preformed on these babies but the results are not released to the public to protect the well being of the parent who most likely did not intend for their child to die. Maybe if we were able to publish the cause of each infant death in our area we can educate those who are putting the life of their child at risk by sleeping in the same bed with the infant.

    • Gabbai Gabbai January 14, 2018

      This had nothing to do with co-sleeping. This had to do with ALL factors if infant death. Maybe teaching families to eat properly (diets in this area are horrible), take care of their health ( which diet plays a major factor in), and prevention on kids smoking and using tobacco products. I see kids in high school dipping in this area and no parents stopping them. It’s just accepted.

      I co-slept with all of my kids and never once caused a risk.

      • Mike Mike January 16, 2018

        You may not think you caused a risk but the fact is that you did!!! While you are asleep can you prevent yourself from rolling over? Can you prevent the baby from rolling over? Of course you cannot and that is exactly why your children were at risk. What do you mean this has nothing to do with co-sleeping? I have been providing medical care to the fine people of Corinth and Alcorn County for many many years and tell me that co-sleeping isn’t a risk. How about this; You respond to the house for a 3 month old unresponsive and CPR is in progress. When getting a history the parents and or grandparents tell you the baby was in their bed and when they woke up the baby was blue and not breathing. Of course autopsy shows SIDS or Unknown reason of death. Co-sleeping kills babies which raises the infant mortality rate which has a part to play in this data. Now go to bed (and not with your baby) and get some sleep because being up late has obviously affected your ability to be a responsible adult.

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