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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.


This is Healthy New Jersey 2020 (HNJ2020) Objective MCH-1. Confidence limits are not available for the U.S. data.

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
  • National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), []


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 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 more than triple the rate among Whites and nearly 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. 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 remains below the national rate. In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 5.8 deaths per 1,000 births nationally compared to 4.5 in New Jersey, which had the sixth lowest IMR in the nation, after Massachusetts (3.7), Washington (3.9), California (4.2), New Hampshire (4.2), and North Dakota (4.3). In 2017, New Jersey had the second lowest White IMR (after Massachusetts) among the 48 states with 20 or more White infant deaths and the second lowest Hispanic IMR (after New York) among the 36 states with 20 or more Hispanic infant deaths. However, New Jersey's Black IMR was the 16th lowest (and therefore, 21st highest) among the 36 states and D.C. with more than 20 Black infant deaths in 2017. 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 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. 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 [] The Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services provides resources for [ Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome]. The [ Healthy Women Healthy Families] (HWHF) Initiative works toward improving maternal and infant health outcomes for women of childbearing age and their families, while reducing racial, ethnic, and economic disparities in those outcomes through a collaborative, coordinated, community-driven approach through the use of Community Health Workers and Central Intake Hubs. [ 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 07/02/2019, Published on 07/10/2019
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 Wed, 16 October 2019 23:25:04 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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