Objectives: This report presents 2001 period infant mortality statistics from the linked birth/infant death data set (linked file) by a variety of maternal and infant characteristics.
Methods: Descriptive tabulations of data are presented and interpreted.
Results: Infant mortality rates ranged from 3.2 per 1,000 live births for Chinese mothers to 13.3 for black mothers. Among Hispanics, rates ranged from 4.2 for Cuban mothers to 8.5 for Puerto Rican mothers. Infant mortality rates were higher for those infants whose mothers were born in the 50 States and the District of Columbia, were unmarried, or smoked during pregnancy. Infant mortality was also higher for male infants, multiple births, and infants born preterm or at low birthweight. The three leading causes of infant death--Congenital malformations, low birthweight, and Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)--taken together accounted for 44 percent of all infant deaths. Cause-specific mortality rates varied considerably by race and Hispanic origin. For infants of black mothers, the cause-specific infant mortality rate for low birthweight was nearly four times that for infants of white mothers. Between 1995 and 2001, the overall infant mortality rate declined by 10.5 percent; significant declines ranged from 8.2 percent for infants of non-Hispanic black mothers to 14.3 percent for infants of Hispanic mothers. The SIDS rate declined by 11 percent from 2000 to 2001. For infants of black and American Indian mothers, the SIDS rates were 2.2 and 2.8 times that for non-Hispanic white mothers.