Social and ethnic inequalities in infant mortality: a perspective from the United kingdom

Semin Perinatol. 2011 Aug;35(4):240-4. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2011.02.021.


Social inequalities in infant mortality can be clearly demonstrated in the countries of the United Kingdom with a social gradient between different groups. Marked variations in infant mortality between ethnic groups are also evident in England and Wales, with the highest rates seen in Pakistani and Caribbean infants and the lowest rates in the white and Bangladeshi groups. Although individual risk factors for infant mortality are well understood, the reasons why certain social and ethnic groups have higher rates remain to be fully elucidated. Policies and interventions to tackle these inequalities are likely to be most effective if they have both universal and targeted components to "level-up" rates to the rate of the most advantaged in society.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality / ethnology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology