U.S. Infant Mortality Reached Historic Low in 2019

5.58 infant deaths per 1,000 livebirths reported; neonatal mortality rate decreased from 2018, but no change observed in postneonatal mortality rate

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WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- In 2019, infant mortality reached a historic low in the United States, with a rate of 5.58 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the Dec. 8 National Vital Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Danielle M. Ely, Ph.D., and Anne K. Driscoll, Ph.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, presented 2019 infant mortality statistics using the linked birth/infant death file.

The researchers found that 20,927 infant deaths were reported in the United States in 2019, which was 3 percent lower than 2018. The infant mortality rate was 5.58 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, which was not significantly different from the rate of 5.67 in 2018, but represented a historic low. From 2018 to 2019, the neonatal mortality rate decreased from 3.78 to 3.69, while there was no change in the postneonatal mortality rate from 1.89 in 2018. Compared with 2018, there was a decrease in the mortality rate for infants of non-Hispanic White women in 2019, while the decreases in rates were not significant for other race and Hispanic-origin groups. For infants of non-Hispanic Black women, the 2019 infant mortality rate was twice as high as that of non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Asian, and Hispanic women (10.62 versus 4.49, 3.38, and 5.03, respectively).

In 2019, the five leading causes of infant deaths were the same as in 2018: congenital malformations, disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight, maternal complications, sudden infant death syndrome, and unintentional injuries (21, 17, 6, 6, and 6 percent of infant deaths, respectively).

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