Infant mortality is defined as death occurring during the first year of life and is an important summary reflecting social, political, health care delivery and medical outcomes in a geographic area. Infant deaths can be further classified into neonatal (0-27 days) and postneonatal (28 days-under 1 year) periods. Neonatal mortality is typically associated with events surrounding the prenatal period and the delivery, whereas postneonatal deaths are more likely to be associated with conditions or events that arise after the delivery and may reflect environmental factors. Other measures of mortality associated with infant health provided on PeriStats include late fetal mortality (28 or more weeks of gestation) and perinatal mortality (fetal deaths of 28 or more weeks gestation and infant deaths in the first 7 days of life). PeriStats also provides data on maternal mortality, reflecting deaths occurring during pregnancy, childbirth or the postpartum period.
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Mortality and Morbidity
In the United States in 2019, 20,969 infants died before reaching their first birthday, an infant mortality rate of 5.6 per 1,000 live births.
Between 2009 and 2019, the infant mortality rate in the United States declined more than 12%.
In 2019, 66.1% of infant deaths occurred in the neonatal period, and 33.9% occurred in the postneonatal period.
Some of the leading causes of infant death in the United States include the following: birth defects; prematurity/low birthweight; sudden infant death syndrome; maternal complications of pregnancy and respiratory distress syndrome.
In the United States in 2019, the rate of perinatal mortality was 5.6 per 1,000 live births and fetal deaths.
Notes: Maternal deaths include deaths of women while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy irrespective of the duration and the site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes. 95% Confidence Intervals. Confidence intervals will be wider for states with fewer maternal deaths due to increased uncertainty. Rates based on fewer than 20 deaths are suppressed because of reliability and confidentiality.
Sources: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System. Maternal Mortality by State, 2018-2020. Retrieved March 29, 2023, from www.marchofdimes.org/peristats.
Between 1999 and 2007, the maternal mortality rate increased more than 28% in the United States .