Short birth intervals have been associated with adverse birth outcomes. This study examines the association between preceding interval and risk of stillbirth or neonatal death in rural north India (n = 80 164). Adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of stillbirth and neonatal mortality were calculated. The odds of stillbirth were significantly greater among birth intervals of <18 months (OR 3.10; CI: 2.69-3.57), 18-35 months (OR 1.47; CI 1.30-1.68) and >59 months (OR 1.44; CI 1.19-1.73), compared with intervals of 36-59 months. Neonatal death was associated with birth intervals of <18 months (OR 4.12; CI 3.74-4.55) and 18-35 months (OR 1.78; CI 1.63-1.94), compared to births spaced 36-59 months. Previous history of either stillbirth or neonatal death was significantly associated with risk of stillbirth and neonatal death, respectively, as were multiple births.