CDC: US infant mortality rate declines, but higher than other industrialized nations

October 20, 2008

The rate of US infant deaths decreased by 2% in 2006, but is still not lower than that of other industrialized countries, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.

The rate of US infant deaths decreased by 2% in 2006, but is still not lower than that of other industrialized countries, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.

The report, available on the CDC Web site, shows that the US infant mortality rate did not decline from 2000 to 2005. Increased in preterm birth and preterm-related infant mortality accounted for much of this statistic. The current rate is approximately 50% higher than the national goal of 4.5 infant deaths per 1,000 births.

In addition, the gap between the US infant mortality rate and corresponding rates for other countries with the lowest infant mortality appears to be widening, the report stated. In 2004, which is the most recent year in which infant mortality rate data were available for all countries, the US ranked 29th in the world in infant mortality, tied with Poland and Slovakia. By comparison, the US previously ranked 23rd in 1990 and 12th in 1960, the CDC report stated.