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Maternal, Infant, and Child Health

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Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

Between 2003 and 2013, the percent of live births that were delivered preterm (less than 37 completed weeks of gestation) decreased by 7.3%, from 12.3% of live births to 11.4%. The percent of infants born preterm increased by 36.2% from 1981 to 2006, but decreased each year from 2007 to 2013, meeting the Healthy People 2020 target in 2013.
 
From 2003 to 2013, the infant mortality rate decreased by 11.8%, from 6.8 deaths under 1 year of age per 1,000 live births to 6.0 in 2012 and 2013, also meeting the Healthy People 2020 target. In 2013, several groups had the lowest rate of infant deaths and preterm births in their specific demographic categories, including infants born to Asian or Pacific Islander mothers, mothers born outside of the U.S., and married mothers.
 
Leading Health Indicators
Explore the latest data and disparities for each indicator.
Infant Deaths (MICH-1.3)
Preterm births (MICH-9.1)
 

Infant Deaths (MICH-1.3)

  • Healthy People 2020 objective MICH-1.3 tracks the rate of infant deaths per 1,000 live births that occur within the first year of life (infant mortality rate).
    • HP2020 Baseline: 6.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births occurred within the first year of life in 2006.
    • HP2020 Target: 6.0 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, a 10% improvement over the baseline.
    • The infant mortality rate decreased by 11.8% between 2003 and 2013, from 6.8 infant deaths per 1,000 live births to 6.0.
  • Among racial/ethnic groups, infants born to Asian or Pacific Islander mothers had the best (lowest) infant mortality rate, 4.1 per 1,000 live births in 2013.  
    • The infant mortality rates experienced by infants of black non-Hispanic, American Indian or Alaska Native, white non-Hispanic, and Hispanic or Latino mothers were 11.1, 7.6, 5.1, and 5.0 per 1,000 live births, respectively.
    • The infant mortality rate for infants of black non-Hispanic mothers was more than 2.5 times the best group rate; and the rate for infants of American Indian or Alaska Native mothers was nearly twice the best group rate. 
  • Females had a lower infant mortality rate than males (5.4 versus 6.5 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013).
  • Infants of married mothers experienced a lower infant mortality rate than infants of unmarried mothers (4.6 versus 8.0 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013).
  • Infants of mothers aged 30–34 years experienced the best (lowest) infant mortality rate, 4.9 per 1,000 live births in 2013, among age groups. Rates experienced by infants of mothers in other age groups were: 
    • 12.4 infant deaths per 1,000 live births to mothers aged less than 15 years; about 2.5 times the best group rate
    • 8.5 infant deaths per 1,000 live births to mothers aged 15–19 years; more than 1.5 times the best group rate
    • 7.0 infant deaths per 1,000 live births to mothers aged 20–24 years; almost 1.5 times the best group rate
    • 5.6 infant deaths per 1,000 live births to mothers aged 25–29 years
    • 5.8 infant deaths per 1,000 live births to mothers aged 35 years and over
  • In 2013, the infant mortality rate was 219.6 per 1,000 live births for very low birthweight (less than 1,500 grams) infants, compared to 2.0 for infants weighing 2,500g or more, and 13.4 for infants weighing 1,500–2,499g. The rate for very low birthweight infants was more than 100 times the rate for infants with birthweights of 2,500g or more.
 
Rate of Infant Deaths by Birthweight, 2013

Infant Death Rate by Weight Web Graphic

Data source: Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set, CDC/NCHS.

Endnotes:

  • All comparisons described are statistically significant at the 0.05 level of significance.
  • Data for this objective are available annually and come from the Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set, CDC/NCHS.
  • The terms “Hispanic or Latino” and “Hispanic” are used interchangeably in this report.
 

Preterm births (MICH-9.1)

  • Healthy People 2020 objective MICH-9.1 tracks the percent of infants born preterm (before 37 completed weeks of gestation).
    • HP2020 Baseline: 12.7% or over 500,000 live births were preterm in 2007.
    • HP2020 Target: 11.4% of live births, a 10% improvement over the baseline.
    • Between 2003 and 2007, the total preterm birth rate increased 3.3%, from 12.3% of live births to 12.7%. However, the rate declined by 10.2% between 2007 and 2013, from 12.7% to 11.4%.
  • Among racial and ethnic groups, the best (lowest) rate of preterm live births delivered in 2013 was experienced by Asian or Pacific Islander mothers (10.2%).
    • The proportion of preterm live births delivered to black non-Hispanic mothers was 16.3% in 2013, more than 1.5 times the best group rate.
    • Rates for American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic or Latino, and white non-Hispanic mothers in 2013 were 13.1%, 11.3%, and 10.2%, respectively. The rate for white non-Hispanic mothers was not significantly different than the best group rate.

Rate of Preterm Births by Race/Ethnicity (of Mother), 2013

Infant Death Rate by Ethnicity

Data source: National Vital Statistics System-Natality (NVSS-N), CDC/NCHS.

  • A smaller proportion of females were born preterm than males (10.9% versus 11.8% in 2013).
  • The percent of married mothers delivering preterm live births was better (lower) than unmarried mothers (10.1% versus 13.2% in 2013).
  • Mothers aged 25–29 years experienced the best (lowest) percent of preterm births, 10.5% in 2013, among age groups. Rates experienced by mothers in other age groups were:
    • 21.1% of the live births among mothers aged less than 15 years were preterm; about twice the rate experienced by the best group
    • 13.0% of the live births among mothers aged 15–19 years were preterm
    • 11.3% of the live births among mothers aged 20–24 years were preterm 
    • 10.8% of the live births among mothers aged 30–34 years were preterm
    • 13.4% of the live births among mothers aged 35 years and over were preterm; almost 1.5 times the best group rate

Endnotes:

  • All comparisons described are statistically significant at the 0.05 level of significance.
  • Data for this objective are available annually and come from the National Vital Statistics System-Natality (NVSS-N), CDC/NCHS.
  • The terms “Hispanic or Latino” and “Hispanic” are used interchangeably in this report.

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