Data shows infant mortality rate in state hits record low

FILE- In this March 22, 2012 file photo, Dr. Wendy Gunther demonstrates how an infant can die due to unsafe sleeping practices using a scene re-enactment doll in Norfolk, Va. Too many U.S. infants still sleep with blankets or other unsafe bedding, according to a study that was published Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, in Pediatrics. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Steve Earley, File)

CHARLESTON — Recent data shows the infant mortality rate in South Carolina hit an all-time low in 2014 while infant mortality among black babies in the state climbed higher last year.

Multiple media outlets report data released by the state health department Wednesday shows an average 6.5 infants per 1,000 born in South Carolina in 2014 died within 12 months of birth. In 2013, the infant mortality rate was 6.9 deaths per 1,000 births.

Despite improvement in the state’s numbers, black infants continue to die at a rate much higher than white infants.

The white infant mortality rate in South Carolina was 4.7 deaths per 1,000 births in 2014. The black infant mortality rate rose to 10.2 deaths per 1,000 births, up from 10 deaths per 1,000 births in 2013.