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Infant Mortality

Definition:
The number of deaths occurring to infants under one year of age per 1,000 live births, for all infants, and for infants in selected racial groups.

Infant Mortality Occurring per 1,000 Live Births
Survey Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
MD 7.3 7.9 8.0 8.0 7.2 6.7 6.7 6.3 6.6 6.5
US 6.9 6.7 6.8 6.6 6.4 6.2 6.1 6.0 5.8 6.0

Data Source: MD DHMH, Vital Statistics Administration Annual Reports
US Data: USCDC, National Vital Statistics Reports, “Births: Final Data for 2014”

Story Behind the Data:

In 2014, Maryland’s infant mortality (IMR) had a slight decline to 6.5 deaths per 1,000 live births; however, it still represents a significant decline from 8.0 per 1,000 live births in 2008. In 2014, infant mortality among Black infants increased slightly from 10.5 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013 to 10.6 in 2014 while deaths among White infants decreased by 7% from 4.5 in 2013 to 4.2 in 2014 – changes that show an increase in infant mortality racial disparity in Maryland. Black infants died at a rate that is 2.5 times higher than White infants in 2014.

The leading causes of infant death in 2014, as in recent years, were, in rank order:

  • Disorders relating to short gestation and low birth weight;
  • Congenital abnormalities; and
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Over the last several years, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has committed to reducing Maryland’s infant mortality rate, setting the goal of a 10% reduction by 2017.

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