Research Scientist

Infant Mortality

In the U.S., the infant mortality rate in 2017 was 5.22 deaths per 1,000 live births (CIA). Although the national under-5 mortality rate has fallen in recent decades, 40 countries performed better than the US in this category. America tied with China in ranking as 36th in the End of Childhood Index which measures the burden of malnutrition, death, and other indicators of stress. (Source: Save the Children, Global Childhood Report 2019)
The infant mortality rate has substantially declined from the 19th and 20th centuries, due largely to better maternal and child nutrition, improved sanitation, economic growth, and advances in infant care. A more recent advancement is the recommendation to put babies to sleep on their backs.

Statistics continue to show there is still a long way to go. The U.S. infant mortality rate from birth to just one year of age is 6.07 deaths per 1,000 live births, or 24,001 infants in 2011. In the same year, there were approximately 4.06 deaths per 1,000 live births in the neonatal period, the first 28 days after birth. This represents 16065 deaths,which are commonly attributable to short gestation, low birth weight, congenital malformations, as well as birth trauma and infection from the perinatal period.

(Source US Dept. of Health & Human Resources, Child Health USA 2014)

In post-neonatal mortality, between 28 days to one year, 7,936 infants died in 2011, which is 2.01 deaths per 1,000 live births.These are often related to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), congenital malformations, and unintentional injuries. (Source: US Dept. of Health & Human Resources, Child Health USA 2014)



Last updated 3-30-22

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