DefinitionRate of death occurring under 1 year of age in a given year per 1,000 live births in the same year
NumeratorNumber of resident deaths occurring under 1 year of age in a given year
DenominatorNumber of live births to resident mothers in the same year
Why Is This Important?The infant death rate is a critical measure of a population's health and a worldwide indicator of health status and social well-being.
Healthy People Objective: All infant deaths (within 1 year)U.S. Target: 6.0 infant deaths per 1,000 live births
State Target: 4.8 infant deaths per 1,000 live births
Other Objectives'''Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective MCH-1''': Reduce the rate of infant deaths per 1,000 live births to 4.8 for the total population, 1.9 among Whites, 6.0 among Blacks, 4.5 among Hispanics, and 2.2 among Asians.
How Are We Doing?The infant mortality rate in New Jersey has been decreasing since the early 1900s. However, the rate varies widely across the state and by several maternal and infant characteristics. The rate among Blacks is nearly three times the rate among Whites and double the rate among Hispanics. The rate is highest among the oldest and the youngest mothers and, regardless of age, unmarried mothers have rates about double those of married mothers.
Infants whose mothers receive no prenatal care are more likely to die than those whose mothers receive prenatal care. Low birth weight and preterm infants are much more likely to die, however when the effect of birth weight is controlled for, singletons are more likely to die than multiple births. Two-thirds of infant deaths occur in the neonatal period (within the first 27 days of life). The leading causes of infant death are congenital anomalies and short gestation/low birth weight.
The Healthy New Jersey 2020 targets for the total population and Asians had been met by 2014.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?The infant mortality rate among New Jersey residents is declining while that of the nation as a whole remained near the rate New Jersey experienced in the mid-1990s until beginning a downward trend starting in 2008. In 2015, the most recent year available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 5.9 deaths per 1,000 births nationally compared to 4.8 in New Jersey, which has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the nation.
New Jersey has the third largest disparity between rates among White and Black mothers. However, this is due in large part to the relatively low rate among Whites, which is the lowest in the nation.
What Is Being Done?The [http://www.nj.gov/health/fhs/ Division of Family Health Services] in the New Jersey Department of Health administers several programs aimed at improving children's health, including reducing infant mortality. Infant deaths are reviewed by the [http://www.nj.gov/health/fhs/maternalchild/outcomes/mortality-reviews/ Fetal Infant Mortality Review Team] and recommendations to reduce future deaths are made to public and private sources of care including hospitals, clinics, and health care professionals throughout the state.
The Department of Health has provided state funding to improve perinatal public health services and birth outcomes in communities. Efforts are continuing to increase public and provider awareness of needs for greater access to maternal preconception care, more awareness of risky preconception and post-conception behavior, and for better general maternal health care.
New Jersey is a participant in the [http://www.nichq.org/project/collaborative-improvement-and-innovation-network-reduce-infant-mortality-im-coiin Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network to Reduce Infant Mortality] (CoIIN-IM). CoIIN is a multiyear national movement engaging federal, state, and local leaders; public and private agencies; professionals; and communities to employ quality improvement, innovation, and collaborative learning to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcomes.
Health Program InformationMaternal and Child Health: [http://www.nj.gov/health/fhs/maternalchild/]
Special Child Health and Early Intervention Services: [http://www.nj.gov/health/fhs/sch/]