East Flatbush is one of three NYC neighborhoods with the highest infant mortality rate, reports Patch.
The infant mortality rate is defined as the number of deaths per 1,000 live births of children under one year of age. According to a report released by the NYC Health Department on Monday, East Flatbush, along with Astoria/Long Island City and Queens Village, saw an average of 6.7 deaths of infants from 2015 to 2017. The citywide average was 4.3, a rate that slightly increased from 2016, when it was 4.1.
Infant mortality rates were also far above city average in Canarsie, Brownsville and East New York, with 6.4, 6.0 and 5.7, respectively. In contrast: Bay Ridge, Borough Park and Bushwick experienced the lowest rates of infant mortality in the borough, with 0.9, 1.9 and 2.1, respectively.
The health department officials further analyzed the city’s infant mortality data by race, income and nationality which revealed that the rates were highest among black, low-income and foreign-born New Yorkers.
In 2017, infant mortality rates for black New Yorkers was 3.3 times higher than for their white counterparts, a disparity that has increased from 3.1 in 2016. The rate was highest among Haitian-born mothers at 7.6 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, followed by Jamaican-born mothers born with 6.5, Pakistan-born mothers with 6.4, Ghana-born mothers with 6.3 and Puerto Rico-born mothers at 6.0. The disparity between Puerto Ricans and white New Yorkers doubled to 2.6 from 1.3 in 2016.
Also economic disparities contribute to the increase of infant mortalities, the report shows: the likelihood of infant deaths occurring in high-poverty areas was 1.4 times higher than in low-poverty neighborhoods.