Language and Infant Mortality in a Large Canadian Province

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Language and Infant Mortality in a Large Canadian Province
The authors point out that infant mortality in minority populations of Canada is poorly understood, despite evidence of ethnic inequality in other countries. Therefore, they studied infant mortality in different linguistic groups of Quebec, and assessed how language and deprivation impacted rates between 1989 and 2012. During this period, vital statistics indicate that there were 1,985,287 live births and 10,283 infant deaths reported. The authors computed infant mortality rates for French, English, and foreign languages according to levels of material deprivation, and evaluated the impact of changes in mortality rates, and population distribution of language groups, on infant mortality. They found that infant mortality declined from 6.05 to 4.61 per 1000 between 1989–1994 and 2007–2012. Most of the decline was driven by Francophones who contributed 1.39 fewer deaths per 1000 births over time, and Anglophones of wealthy and middle socio-economic status who contributed 0.13 fewer deaths per 1000 births. The foreign language population and poor Anglophones contributed more births over time, including 0.08 and 0.02 more deaths per 1000 births, respectively. Mortality decreased for Francophones and Anglophones in each level of deprivation. Rates were lower for foreign languages, but increased over time, especially for the poor.
Public Health
Vol. 139
October 2016
Auger, Nathalie, Marianne Bilodeau-Bertrand, and André Costopoulos. “Language and Infant Mortality in a Large Canadian Province.” Public Health Vol. 139 (October 2016): 154–160.
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