Monday, September 3, 2012

How do the States Stack Up on Infant Mortality? (Cross Post with PUSH)

Infant Mortality vs. Income for Certain States & Countries in 2006
The Gapminder Institute has come out with an online interactive graphic showing the United States' individual states and all of the other nations of the world.  I created the graph at the left to show the relationship between per capita income and infant mortality for the year 2006.  The graph was created by scanning the printout in greyscale. 

Pennsylvania is labeled above the clear dot near the second zero for 2006.  It had a rate of 7.3 deaths per 1,000 live births and an income of $39,648.  The other state and country names are near the dots they represent.  Larger dots mean larger populations.  There is a menu at the right where you can change the scales on the graphs

The richest countries in the world are highlighted, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg respectively (the US ranked 8th overall) and also respective mortality rates of 3 and 4.  Iceland and Singapore were tied with the lowest rates at 2.  Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Japan and other western European countries had lower incomes as well as lower infant mortality rates than Pennsylvania.

Mississippi had the highest infant mortality rate (11/1,000 births) and the lowest income in the US ($27,566) and Gov. Barbour said Ms was the safest state to be an unborn child (see clip below about our political priorities but not Eastwood's empty chair).  It was richer than Russia but was close to it in infant deaths (Russia had 14/1,000 births).  Surprisingly Utah had the lowest mortality rate at 4.5 but has a lower income at $36,311 which is close to Canada.  Delaware had a high mortality rate at 9 and the highest income of the states at $66,247.  

You can see the graph in color at the link below and interact with it by selecting other states and countries with your mouse arrow key.

**Related Posts**

Bob Mason's Letter to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Income and Life Expectancy. What does it Tell Us About US?


Overall Health System Performance - The Commonwealth Fund


Check out this great MSN video: How America got into birth control mess

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Issac, Leslie, and Katrina: Still Lessons of Hubris

In my last post I talked about a variety of issues related to sports, politics, and climate change.   This post is meant as a follow up.

The GOP convention got off with a one day delay, a mild walkout by Maine Ron Paul supporters who were naive enough to want real democracy at the convention, a truth-stretched VP acceptance speech by Paul Ryan, and a strange speech by Clint Eastwood to an empty chair.  Maclachlan still looks good in Romney's role if HBO want's to do a movie in a Blue Velvety/Twin Peaksy fashion.

This week it's the Democrats turn in Charlotte, North Carolina which is also no stranger to hurricanes.  Tropical storm Leslie (they are named in alphabetical fashion) is in the Caribbean now but is not expected to hit Charlotte though the remnants of Isaac might (see map in previous post).  Another storm Kirk blew harmlessly out to sea.  This convention could be a snooze fest then for four days.

Comparing this hurricane season to 2005 when Katrina hit New Orleans seven years to the day before Isaac.  As stated before this season has had about about the same number of storms as 2005 did so far as the lettering of storms indicates.  What is often not discussed is that in 2005 there were so many named storms in the Atlantic that the National Weather service used up the letters of the alphabet and had to go to the Greek alphabet all the way to Zeta (Omega is the last letter).  The strongest storm that year was Wilma, not Katrina, which was in October of that year. 

Isaac caused flooding in the deep south (in states that could benefit from Medicaid expansion) but nowhere near the damage Katrina did because they were better prepared in New Orleans.  In the upcoming election there may be some discussion of the role of government in diagnosing, combating, and remedying the problems caused by climate change but I heard little at the GOP convention.  Will there be this week in Charlotte?

**Related Posts**

Deep South Primaries

2012: Still a 2004 Rerun