The Center for Disease Control reported this week that following a plateau from 2000 through 2005, the U.S. infant mortality rate declined 12% from 2005 through 2011. Declines for neonatal and postneonatal mortality were similar. Kansas saw the biggest drop with 15.6% btw 2005-2011
From 2005 through 2011, infant mortality declined 16% for non-Hispanic black women and 12% for non-Hispanic white women.
Infant mortality declined for four of the five leading causes of death during the 2005–2011 period.
Infant mortality rates declined most rapidly among some, but not all, Southern states from 2005 through 2010. Despite these declines, states in the South still had among the highest rates in 2010. Rates were also high in 2010 in some states in the Midwest.
Infant mortality is an important indicator of the health of a nation (1,2). This report describes the recent decline in the U.S. infant mortality rate from 2005 through 2011. Changes in infant mortality rates over time are examined by age at death, maternal race and ethnicity, cause of death, and state. The linked birth/infant death data set (linked file) is generally the preferred source for infant mortality rates by race and ethnicity (3,4). This is particularly important for racial and ethnic groups other than non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic. For these three groups, rates calculated from the mortality and linked files have been very similar for many years, and trends are unlikely to differ (3–5). Thus, data from the mortality file are used for this analysis because of their greater timeliness (3,6). Data for 2011 are preliminary (6). Because preliminary data are not available by state, data for the 2005–2010 period were used for the geographic analysis.