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'''Revised Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective MCH-1''': Reduce the rate of infant deaths per 1,000 live births to 3.7 for the total population, 1.9 among Whites, 6.0 among Blacks, 3.3 among Hispanics, and 1.8 among Asians.
'''Original 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 generally 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 triple the rate among Whites and double the rate among Hispanics. Regardless of age, unmarried mothers have rates more than double those of married mothers.
Twin and triplet, low birth weight, and preterm infants are much more likely to die than singleton, normal birth weight, and full term infants, respectively. 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 [https://www.nj.gov/health/chs/hnj2020/topics/maternal-child-health.shtml Healthy New Jersey 2020] targets for the total population, Hispanics, and Asians had been met by mid-decade, so new targets were assigned.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?National data for 2019 was not yet available at the time this report was updated.
The infant mortality rate (IMR) among New Jersey residents remains below the national rate. In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 5.7 deaths per 1,000 births nationally compared to 3.9 in New Jersey, which had the second lowest IMR in the nation, after New Hampshire (3.5).
In 2018, New Jersey had the lowest White IMR, the fifth lowest Hispanic IMR, and the sixth lowest Black IMR among states with 20 or more infant deaths in those racial/ethnic groups.
Despite having low rates relative to most of the rest of the US, New Jersey has the largest disparity between Black and White IMRs (3.8) because the rates for Whites are so remarkably low. (Disparity is measured as the ratio of one group's rate to the other group's rate.)
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. In an effort to improve health outcomes among Black infants and mothers in New Jersey, six maternal and child health agencies across the state were awarded $4.3 million in grant funding in July, 2018, as part of the Department of Health's "[https://nj.gov/health/news/2018/approved/20180711a.shtml Healthy Women, Healthy Families]" initiative. In addition to these funds, the Department devoted $450,000 to implement a doula pilot program in municipalities with high Black IMRs. [https://nj.gov/governor/admin/fl/nurturenj.shtml Nurture NJ] is a multifaceted initiative to eliminate racial disparities in 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/]