Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. James Biles

Second Advisor

Dr. David Dickason

Third Advisor

Dr. Gregory Veeck

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study compares and analyzes the spatial patterns of infant mortality (IM) for 1940 and 2000 using county-level socio-economic variables in the Industrial Belt, assesses the changes in IM as an indicator of the living standards for the population over time and space, and explains the changes. The region was delineated using 1940 employment data. OLS, spatial regression, and exploratory spatial data analysis were used on IM (the dependent variable) and socio-economic variables to study the standard of living in the region. Some important factors were statistically significant in the various models including: minority population, levels of industrialization, and urbanization and poverty. When contrasted with the nation, the region had a higher standard of living in 1940 verses 2000 yet lacks uniformity at the county level across space and time. Several clusters of high and low IM rates were identified. Future research in these areas may shed more light on IM and the quality of life in the region.