Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health      

kidsdata advisory

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health | November 14, 2011

Infant Mortality Rates Declining, but Disparities Persist

Across California, infant mortality rates have declined, dropping by 14% statewide between ’96-’98 and ’07-’09 (from 5.9 to 5.1 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births). However, racial/ethnic disparities persist; mortality rates for African American/Black and Multiracial infants consistently have been more than double the rates of other racial/ethnic groups over the last decade in California. These are among the key findings from updates to infant mortality data just published to

Local Data

Infant Mortality Rate, by County
In ‘07-‘09, local infant mortality rates ranged widely across California counties for which data are available, from 2.9 deaths per 1,000 live births in San Luis Obispo County to 6.9 in Kern County.

Infant Mortality Rate, by Leading Cause of Death
Congenital defects consistently are the most common cause of infant deaths in California. Infant deaths statewide caused by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome declined from a rate of 0.6 per 1,000 in ’96-’98 to 0.3 in ’07-’09.

Infant Mortality Rate, by Race/Ethnicity
While African American/Black and Multiracial infants in California continue to have higher rates of mortality than other racial/ethnic groups, rates for African American/Black infants declined statewide from 13.3 deaths per 1,000 infants in ‘96-‘00 to 11.7 in ‘05-’09. Rates for Multiracial infants, however, increased statewide from 10.0 in ’00-’04 (the first period of available data) to 11.8 in ’05-’09.

Infant Mortality: Related Contexts

Although infant mortality rates in the U.S. have declined since the 1980s, the U.S. infant mortality rate is higher than those in most other developed countries, particularly among African American/Black infants. Early access to prenatal and well-baby preventive care can help identify and ameliorate some risk factors for infant mortality. More >>

Tell Your Friends and Colleagues

Those who work to improve the health and well being of children often require assistance in making their case. As a foundation devoted to bringing attention to key children's health issues, we want to make sharing up-to-date, reliable data as easy as possible. Please forward this announcement to your friends and colleagues who work on behalf of kids. Mascot
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