The infant mortality rate compares the number of deaths of infants under one year old per 1,000 live births. There are five leading causes of infant mortality:

  1. Birth Defects
  2. Preterm Births and low birth weight
  3. Sudden infant death syndrome
  4. Maternal pregnancy complications
  5. Injuries

Between 2005-2014 one of these leading causes of infant mortality, sudden infant death syndrome, has declined 29%. This was the largest decline observed among the top five leading causes of infant mortality. With a higher rate of infant mortality than any of the other 27 wealthy countries, the United States has an infant mortality crisis on their hands.

In the last decade, there have been some improvements to the U.S. infant mortality rate as a whole. From 2005-2014 the U.S. rate of infant mortality went from 6.86 to 5.8 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, a 15% drop. Moreover, between 2005-2014, two-thirds of all U.S. states and D.C. saw declines in infant mortality.

 
Key Infant Mortality Statistics:

  • Between 2005-2014 Connecticut, South Carolina, Colorado, and D.C. all saw declines in infant mortality of 20% or more.
  • Between 2015 and 2016 infant mortality rates in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, and Ohio increased.
  • Between 2005-2014, two-thirds of all U.S. states and D.C. saw declines in infant mortality.
  • From 2005-2014 the U.S. rate of infant mortality went from 6.86 to 5.82%, a 15% drop.

Infant mortality declined for two-thirds of all U.S. states and D.C. from 2005 to 2014. 

Despite progress within all demographics, differences between demographic subgroups have persisted. For instance the most recent 2015 data shows the age-adjusted death rate was 1.2 times greater for non-Hispanic black population than for the non-hispanic white population. Moreover between different racial demographic groups the highest infant mortality rates were observed among infants of non-Hispanic black women while the lowest were observed among infants of Asian or Pacific Islander women. In addition to demographics, differences also arise between geographic locations. For instance between 2015 and 2016 many states in the South and Midwest had increased infant mortality rates.

Source for state infant mortality rate:

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