Fewer babies are dying now than 9 years ago, according to a new report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.) That's the good news.
But there's also horrifying news. Despite falling death rates, Black babies still die twice as often as white babies.
About 6.86% of babies born in the U.S. died in 2005, while 5.82% died in 2014 -- that's a 15% decline. But between 2013 and 2014, only non-Hispanic white babies experienced a decline in death rate. And overall, non-Hispanic Black babies and Native American babies die most often, according to the report.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (or SIDS) is one of the leading causes of death in babies, according to the report, and the biggest decline came from fewer SIDS deaths. 29% fewer babies died from SIDS between 2005 and 2014.
A 2015 study in Pediatrics found that not all SIDS deaths can be prevented by laying babies on their backs at bedtime, though doctors do recommend this sleeping position to help prevent SIDS.
"We know that there have been a lot of efforts across the country in cities and states where they're trying to figure out ways where they can lower the infant mortality rate," T.J. Mathews, one of the authors on the report, told CNN.
Neither Matthews nor any of the other authors offered an explanation for the racial disparity. They simply offer the facts. Fewer babies are dying now, and Black babies and babies of other people of color die far more often than white babies.
It's incredibly sad and disappointing but, given the quality of health care people of color experience compared to white people, it's not all that shocking. As terrible as it is, going to the doctor is vastly different if you're Black, or Latinx, or Native American, or any race other than white. And it's no surprise that that extends to pregnant people.