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Infant mortality - Statistics & Facts

Infant mortality is defined as the death of an infant before the age of one. Infant mortality is an important measure of maternal and infant health and a benchmark of the overall health of a society or community. The rate of infant mortality is measured as the number of deaths of infants for every 1,000 life births. The leading causes of infant mortality worldwide include preterm birth complications, intrapartum related events, sepsis or meningitis, and congenital abnormalities. The global infant mortality rate has decreased in the past couple of decades and is predicted to continue to decrease in the future. From 1990 to 1995, the global infant mortality rate was 63 deaths per 1,000 live births, while it is predicted to be just 23 from the period between 2025 to 2030.

Infant mortality in the United States

As of 2021, the countries with the highest infant mortality rates included Afghanistan, Somalia, and the Central African Republic. The countries with the lowest infant mortality rates included Slovenia, Singapore, and Iceland. As seen in many other developed countries, the infant mortality rate in the United States has steadily decreased over the past few decades. From 1990 to 2019, the infant mortality rate in the U.S. decreased from 9.4 to 5.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, yet this is still higher than that of comparable countries. The U.S. state with the highest infant mortality rate is Mississippi, with a rate of 9.1, compared to a rate of just 3.1 in New Hampshire, the lowest of any state.

Disparities in infant mortality

Disparities in infant mortality rates are not only found on a state level in the United States but are also seen based on age, ethnicity, and the weight the mother. Both women who were overweight or underweight before pregnancy have higher rates of infant mortality compared to women of normal weight pre-pregnancy. This can be exacerbated by age, where women under 20 who were obese had the highest rates at 10.24 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, while mothers aged 30-34 who were normal weight had the lowest rate at 3.44. An even larger disparity in infant mortality can be found based on ethnicity. In 2018, the infant mortality rate among non-Hispanic Black women was 10.75, while the rate among non-Hispanic White women was only 4.63 deaths per 1,000 live births. This highlights the ongoing ethnic disparities found not only in infant health but also maternal health in the United States.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Infant mortality" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Worldwide overview

Causes

Disparities in the U.S.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 25 most important statistics relating to "Infant mortality".

Infant mortality

Dossier on the topic

All important statistics are prepared by our experts – available for direct download as PPT & PDF!
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Infant mortality - Statistics & Facts

Infant mortality is defined as the death of an infant before the age of one. Infant mortality is an important measure of maternal and infant health and a benchmark of the overall health of a society or community. The rate of infant mortality is measured as the number of deaths of infants for every 1,000 life births. The leading causes of infant mortality worldwide include preterm birth complications, intrapartum related events, sepsis or meningitis, and congenital abnormalities. The global infant mortality rate has decreased in the past couple of decades and is predicted to continue to decrease in the future. From 1990 to 1995, the global infant mortality rate was 63 deaths per 1,000 live births, while it is predicted to be just 23 from the period between 2025 to 2030.

Infant mortality in the United States

As of 2021, the countries with the highest infant mortality rates included Afghanistan, Somalia, and the Central African Republic. The countries with the lowest infant mortality rates included Slovenia, Singapore, and Iceland. As seen in many other developed countries, the infant mortality rate in the United States has steadily decreased over the past few decades. From 1990 to 2019, the infant mortality rate in the U.S. decreased from 9.4 to 5.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, yet this is still higher than that of comparable countries. The U.S. state with the highest infant mortality rate is Mississippi, with a rate of 9.1, compared to a rate of just 3.1 in New Hampshire, the lowest of any state.

Disparities in infant mortality

Disparities in infant mortality rates are not only found on a state level in the United States but are also seen based on age, ethnicity, and the weight the mother. Both women who were overweight or underweight before pregnancy have higher rates of infant mortality compared to women of normal weight pre-pregnancy. This can be exacerbated by age, where women under 20 who were obese had the highest rates at 10.24 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, while mothers aged 30-34 who were normal weight had the lowest rate at 3.44. An even larger disparity in infant mortality can be found based on ethnicity. In 2018, the infant mortality rate among non-Hispanic Black women was 10.75, while the rate among non-Hispanic White women was only 4.63 deaths per 1,000 live births. This highlights the ongoing ethnic disparities found not only in infant health but also maternal health in the United States.

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