Socioeconomic and demographic variables are examined in a maximum likelihood spatial lag framework to determine conditions influencing infant survival in Alabama using county-level data. The analysis is motivated by the basic premise that economic development and unidimensional health interventions such as immunization programs are not enough to ensure constant mortality decline in low-income regions. The results suggest that differences in socioeconomic factors can explain a large portion of the variation in child mortality rates among counties and across races in Alabama. The results also concur with prior conclusions that maternal and infant health remains an important reflection of the social and economic well-being of any population and societal equity.

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