Kid’s Count data puts Marengo 42 in state

Published 7:46 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Marengo County’s infant mortality rate has dropped more than 150 percent since 1999 according to the Annual Kid’s Count Data, which was released yesterday.

According to the statistics, two babies died in Marengo County – both African-American – in 2009 compared to six in the comparative year, 1999.

“Truthfully, that goes up and down,” said Dr. Ronnie Chu. “A lot of that comes from better care from the doctors, better care from the nurses and the hospital but a lot of it comes from the mothers that are seeking out care where as before, more of them didn’t look for prenatal care.”

Email newsletter signup

Kid’s Count evaluates social and economic indicators in the areas of health, education, safety and security annually and ranks each county from 1 to 67.

Marengo finished the year at 42 of Alabama’s 67 counties and in the middle third of the county’s individual rankings. Marengo and Choctaw are the only Black Belt counties not to find themselves in the bottom third of the rankings.

“It doesn’t matter what we say really. It’s on the patient,” said Chu, whose family practice includes obstetrics. “They have to apply it. We try to nag them but it’s really up to them.”

Other areas where the county saw significant gains include births to unmarried teens. For the year 2010, 31 babies were born to unwed teens compared to 49 in 1999.

The number of children with indication of abuse or neglect and the juvenile violent crime court petition rate were sliced nearly in half. Preventable teen deaths were eradicated, down to zero from two from 1999 to 2009.

The number of children in poverty dropped by 244 from 1999 to 2009 while the number of children in single-parent families dropped 384 from 2000 to 2010.

The median household income nearly $3,000 while the county shed nearly 500 in population from 2000 to 2010. The county’s population of children dropped 1,230 in that 10 year span.

Shelby, Blount, Lee, Limestone and Cleburne counties round up the top five while Bullock, Lowndes, Macon, Greene and Dallas wind up the bottom five.

Nationwide, Alabama ranked 48 out of 50 states.