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 27 from the period between 2025 to 2030.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 20 most important statistics relating to "Infant mortality".

As of 2017, the countries with the highest infant mortality rates included Afghanistan, Somalia, the Central African Republic, and Guinea-Bissau. The countries with the lowest infant mortality rates included Japan, Iceland, Singapore, and Norway. 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 2017, the infant mortality rate in the U.S. decreased from 9.4 to 5.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, yet this is still higher than that of comparable countries. Within the United States, the state with the highest infant mortality rate is Mississippi, with a rate of 8.9, compared to a rate of just 3.9 in New Hampshire, the lowest of any U.S. state.

Disparities in infant mortality rates are not only found on a state level in the United States but are also seen based on urbanization and by ethnicity. In general, the infant mortality rate in rural counties is higher than that of large urban counties. Moreover, there are differences in the causes of infant mortality depending on urbanization. Infant mortality caused by congenital malformations, sudden infant death syndrome, and unintentional injuries are more common in rural counties, while low birthweight and maternal complications play a larger role in infant deaths in large urban counties. An even larger disparity in infant mortality can be found based on ethnicity. In 2016, the infant mortality rate among non-Hispanic black women was 11.21, while the rate among non-Hispanic white women was only 4.87 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Infant mortality

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Important 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.

Infant mortality in the U.S.

Perinatal mortality rates


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