DefinitionRate of death occurring before 28 days of age in a given year per 1,000 live births in the same year
Infant mortality is death within the first year of life. It is divided into two components: death before the 28th day of life is neonatal mortality; death between 28 days and one year is postneonatal mortality.
NumeratorNumber of resident deaths occurring under 28 days of age in a given year
DenominatorNumber of live births to resident mothers in the same year
Why Is This Important?Neonatal mortality is an important indicator of newborn and maternal health status and medical care (pre- and post-delivery).
Healthy People Objective: Neonatal deaths (within the first 28 days of life)U.S. Target: 4.1 neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births
How Are We Doing?Two-thirds of infant deaths occur in the neonatal period. The neonatal mortality rate in New Jersey has been decreasing, yet disparities exist across the state and by maternal and infant characteristics. The rate among children of Black mothers is 1.7 to 3.1 times that of other racial/ethnic groups and most of the counties with high neonatal mortality rates are in South Jersey.
The leading causes of neonatal mortality are the same as those among all infants: short gestation (prematurity)/low birth weight and congenital anomalies. These two causes account for about 40% of neonatal deaths.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?The neonatal mortality rate among New Jersey residents is below that of the nation as a whole.
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 infant mortality rates. [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/]