Infant Mortality Rate Drops

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Illinois' infant mortality rate has fallen to an all-time low.

The infant mortality rate was 7.2 deaths per 1,000 births in 2002. That's lower than the 7.5 deaths recorded in 2001. The rate has fallen 25 percent in a decade, but the gap in deaths among babies of different races widened.

The rate for blacks rose to 15.7 deaths per 1,000, up from 14.9 in 2001. White babies died at a rate of 5.5 per 1,000 in 2002. That was down from 5.9 a year earlier.