The Importance of Data Visualizations for the Identification and Reduction of Racial Disparities in Michigan Counties’ Infant Mortality Rates

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Authors
O'Keefe, Abigail
Issue Date
2020-11-01
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Thesis
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en_US
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Abstract
Infant mortality rate is a measurement of the number of infant deaths in a community, and it is an important rate to record as it is used to assess the health of a community. In the state of Michigan for the year 2018, the infant mortality rate was 6.6, but this rate obscures the racial disparity that is present between the white infant mortality rate and the black infant mortality rate. As this racial disparity has been consistently present within Michigan’s state level infant mortality rate for the past five decades, it is crucial that infant mortality data is collected at the county level, as this allows for the identification of specific causes contributing to the racial disparity within a community, and for the creation of initiatives whose aim it is to reduce this racial disparity. To highlight the importance of recording infant mortality rates at the county level for the identification and reduction of racial disparities, interactive choropleth maps of the state of Michigan help to visualize health disparities within communities. The maps display the three-year 2016-2018 moving average of the overall, white, and black infant mortality rate for each county in Michigan, and are located within a personal web application that can be viewed at: http://abbi-okeefe.shinyapps.io/Choropleth_Maps
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v, 40 p.
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Kalamazoo College
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U.S. copyright laws protect this material. Commercial use or distribution of this material is not permitted without prior written permission of the copyright holder.
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