Government agencies have released some good news for newborns. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) found in a new analysis that the rate of infant mortality in the U.S. is continuing to decline, after reaching a high in 2005.
Since then, rates of infant deaths have dropped by 15%, from 6.86 deaths per 1,000 births to 5.82 in 2014. These declines were driven by record-low rates among Hispanic, Black and Asian populations. The biggest drops—by about 20%—were seen for the infants of Asian or Pacific Islander and Black mothers. Every racial subgroup, except for American Indian and Alaska Native people, experienced a decline.
The infant mortality rate for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) dropped by 29%. And while birth defects remain the leading cause of infant death, followed by low birth weight, both saw declines from 2005 to 2014. This encouraging trend suggests that efforts to help women get more prenatal care may be paying off.