Main Article Content
Award(s): Excellence in Research Mentoring; Excellence in Research Communication
Student Major: Neuroscience; Political Science
Project Advisor: Leah Dean
Abstract: Franklin County displayed a significant reduction in its infant mortality rate (IMR) from 2011-2020, falling from 9.7 to 6.7. Despite this, the infant mortality disparity ratio (IMDR) between White and Black populations increased from 2011-2020. To better understand this phenomenon, we compare infant mortality trends within Celebrate 1 zip codes and Non-Celebrate 1 zip codes from 2011-2020 using publicly available data. Utilizing paired t-tests, we determined that White populations in Celebrate 1 areas had a significant reduction in IMR (9.2-6.4; p=0.0019), but Black populations experienced a non-significant reduction in IMR (19-13.7; p=0.325). Regression analysis further illustrated that the rate of IMR reduction for Black populations was almost 48% slower than for White populations. Finally, through paired t-testing we learned that the IMDR increase in Celebrate 1 areas was statistically significant (p=.0195), while the IMDR increase in Non-Celebrate 1 areas was not. This follows with our observation that in Non-Celebrate 1 areas neither White nor Black populations had significant reductions in IMR (7-3.4, p=0.1197; 14.1-9.3, p=0.0902). These findings led to questioning regarding how pandemic years may have affected these trends. The data hasn't been fully compiled, but current data indicates Black IMR increased greatly county-wide whereas White IMR decreased in Celebrate 1 neighborhoods. Taking this into account, there appears to be a racial equity crisis in IMR across Franklin County. Achieving the county goal of reducing IMR to 5.0 by 2030 in Celebrate 1 areas then is likely to require significant investment of resources into minority communities.