U.S. Infant Mortality Rate Falls to New Low

March 21, 2017, 3:20 PM UTC
Baby cot with colorful toys hanging
Baby cot with colorful toys hanging
costinc79—iStockphoto/Getty Images

The infant mortality rate in the United States has reached a new low, dropping by 15% between 2005 and 2014, according to a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The infant mortality rate fell to 5.82 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2014 — down from a recent high of 6.86 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005, according to a CDC report released Tuesday.

While the infant mortality rate fell across most racial groups, there is still a persistent racial gap. The mortality rate for non-Hispanic black women, which fell 20%, was still more than double that for non-Hispanic white women. And the mortality rate for American Indians and Alaska Natives remained relatively unchanged during the decade included in the report.

“I think there was a public health push in the past decade to figure out ways to lower this rate, and it has made an impact,” said T.J. Matthews, a demographer at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics and an author of the report, according to CNN. “We know that there have been a lot of efforts across the country in cities and states where they’re trying to figure out ways where they can lower the infant mortality rate.”

The report identified declines in four leading causes of infant death, including congenital malformations, short gestation and low birthweight and maternal complications. Instances of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) also fell by 29%.

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