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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.


** Number of deaths is too small to calculate a reliable rate.

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 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 Asians and more than double the rate among Hispanics. Regardless of age, unmarried mothers have higher rates than 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 (deaths at less than 28 days of age). The leading causes of infant death are congenital anomalies and short gestation/low birth weight. 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 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 5.4 deaths per 1,000 births nationally compared to 4.1 in New Jersey, which had the fifth lowest IMR in the nation, after Vermont, California, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. In 2020, New Jersey had the lowest Hispanic IMR, the second lowest White IMR, the fifth lowest Asian IMR, and the ninth 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 second largest disparity between Black and White IMRs (3.6) because the rate for Whites is 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 [ 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. [ Nurture NJ] is a multifaceted initiative to eliminate racial disparities in birth outcomes.

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 [ 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: [] WIC: []
Page Content Updated On 12/30/2022, Published on 04/19/2023
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 Sat, 18 May 2024 23:03:16 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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