The King's Fund responds to the latest ONS publication on births and infant mortality by ethnicity

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Responding to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) publication on births and infant mortality by ethnicity, Veena Raleigh, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund, said:

‘Infant mortality rates in the UK compare poorly with European peers and have long been characterised by wide inequalities, including between different ethnic groups. The fall in stillbirth and infant mortality rates among ethnic minority groups between 2007 and 2019 is welcome, but the persistence of ethnic differences is not. 

‘The latest ONS data for England and Wales shows that infant outcomes are consistently worst among Black and Asian groups. Although explanations for these ethnic differences are complex, involving the interplay of many factors, deprivation is a key determinant. 83 per cent of babies in the Black ethnic group were born to mothers living in the most deprived areas, compared with 53 per cent of babies in the White ethnic group. These underlying drivers must be addressed if outcomes for babies born to mothers from ethnic minority groups, who make up 30 per cent of all live births nationally, are to improve.’

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