Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content

Health Indicator Report of Infant Mortality Rate

The infant death rate is a critical measure of a population's health and a worldwide indicator of health status and social well-being.

Data Sources

  • Birth Certificate Database, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, New Jersey Department of Health
  • Linked Infant Death-Birth Database, Center for Health Statistics, New Jersey Department of Health


Rate of death occurring under 1 year of age in a given year per 1,000 live births in the same year


Number of resident deaths occurring under 1 year of age in a given year


Number of live births to resident mothers in the same year

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 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 more than triple the rate among Whites and nearly triple the rate among Hispanics. Regardless of age, unmarried mothers have rates more than 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. More than two-thirds of infant deaths occur in the neonatal period (within the first 27 days of life). The leading causes of infant death are short gestation/low birth weight and congenital anomalies. The 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.?

The infant mortality rate (IMR) among New Jersey residents continues to decline, while the national rate lags behind. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 5.9 deaths per 1,000 births nationally compared to 4.1 in New Jersey, which has the third lowest IMR in the nation, after New Hampshire and Massachusetts. New Jersey has the lowest White IMR in the nation and the second lowest Hispanic IMR (after New York) among the 36 states with 20 or more Hispanic infant deaths in 2016. New Jersey has the ninth lowest Black IMR among the 36 states and D.C. with more than 12 Black infant deaths in 2016. Despite having low rates relative to most of the rest of the US, New Jersey has the second largest disparity between Black and White IMRs and the largest disparity between Black and Hispanic IMRs because the rates for Whites and Hispanics are so remarkably low. (Disparity is measured as the ratio of Black IMR to the other group's IMR.)

What Is Being Done?

The [ 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 [ 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 [ 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. 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 "[ 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.

Available Services

The Division of Family Health Services (FHS) provides support for pregnant women and newborns through several programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Program for [ Women, Infants and Children] (WIC). Perinatal Mood Disorders (e.g., postpartum depression) Helpline: 1-800-328-3838 or [] FHS supports professional and public [ Perinatal Addiction] education services, promotes perinatal screening, and has developed a network of available resources to aid pregnant, substance-using women. [ NJ Parent Link], an interdepartmental website, is New Jersey's online Early Childhood, Parenting, and Professional Resource Center offering "one-stop shopping" for State services and resources.

Health Program Information

Maternal and Child Health: [] Special Child Health and Early Intervention Services: [] WIC: []
Page Content Updated On 08/06/2018, Published on 12/28/2018
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 18 June 2019 10:13:58 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

Content updated: no date