This report presents 2018 infant mortality statistics by age at death, maternal race and Hispanic origin, maternal age, gestational age, leading causes of death, and maternal state of residence. Trends in infant mortality are also examined.
Descriptive tabulations of data are presented and interpreted for infant deaths and infant mortality rates using the 2018 period linked birth/infant death file; the linked birth/infant death file is based on birth and death certificates registered in all states and the District of Columbia.
A total of 21,498 infant deaths were reported in the United States in 2018. The U.S. infant mortality rate was 5.67 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, lower than the rate of 5.79 in 2017 and an historic low in the country. The neonatal and postneonatal mortality rates for 2018 (3.78 and 1.89, respectively) demonstrated a nonsignificant decline compared with 2017 (3.85 and 1.94, respectively). The 2018 mortality rate declined for infants of Hispanic women compared with the 2017 rate; changes in rates for other race and Hispanic-origin groups were not statistically significant. The 2018 infant mortality rate for infants of non-Hispanic black women (10.75) was more than twice as high as that for infants of non-Hispanic white (4.63), non-Hispanic Asian (3.63), and Hispanic women (4.86). Infants born very preterm (less than 28 weeks of gestation) had the highest mortality rate (382.20), 186 times as high as that for infants born at term (37–41 weeks of gestation) (2.05). The five leading causes of infant death in 2018 were the same as in 2017; cause-of-death rankings and mortality rates varied by maternal race and Hispanic origin. Infant mortality rates by state for 2018 ranged from a low of 3.50 in New Hampshire to a high of 8.41 in Mississippi.