A number of health indicators are used to examine whether the gap in health status between the poor and nonpoor has narrowed in the period 1960-1972. Although the terms are recognized not to be synonymous, white and all other races are used as proxies for nonpoor and poor respectively, because of unavailability of data according to the latter characteristics. During this period, the geps between white and all others have narrowed for fetal, neonatal, postnconatal and maternal mortality. With regard to fertility, the gaps between white and all other races have narrowed for the maternal age groups beginning with 25 years of age; chief progress in narrowing the gaps was among higher birth orders. On a maternal age base, the gap in the proportions of illegitimate births of racial groups appear to be widening.
The gap between the racial groups in the proportion of low birth weight infants has not changed significantly. Although real progress has been made in reducing infant mortality in the United States in the 1960s, its progress has not been sufficient to narrow the gap with other countries of very low infant mortality. While infant mortality has been declining in the United States, it has also been declining in countries of low infant mortality, such as the Scandinavian countries.
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