The United States Children's Bureau has made a number of studies which show a close relationship between high infant mortality rates and bad housing. It is obvious that other factors such as low standards of living induced by poverty affect these mortality rates, yet the figures indicate that bad housing is a contributing cause.
The Manchester, New Hampshire, study shows an infant mortality rate of 236.6 per 1,000 births in tenements with seven or more families. In single-family dwellings the rate was but 86.1. The study in Waterbury, Connecticut, also shows that the infant mortality rate increased in proportion to the number of tenants per dwelling. The mortality rate for alley houses was 172.0 against 120.6 for houses facing the street. Room congestion also affected the rate.
The Johnstown, Pennsylvania, study made by the Bureau again indicates the influence of bad housing on infant mortality. The Bureau studied the infant mortality rate in relation to both dry and damp houses. In the former the rate was 122.5 Per 1,000 births while in damp houses it was as high as 156.7 per 1,000. For a total of 1,389 infants living at least one month, the infant mortality rate was 28.1 where the babies slept in rooms well ventilated and 169.2 for houses where rooms were considered poorly ventilated. The Johnstown study also revealed a higher infant mortality rate in those houses where water had to be carried into the house and also where there were no bathtubs.