International Infant Mortality
Although the infant mortality rate in the United States has declined significantly in recent decades, it was still ranked below that of many other industrialized nations in 2004 with a rate of 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births. This represents a slight decline from the rate of 6.9 per 1,000 in 2003 and considerably less than the rate of 26.0 per 1,000 reported in 1960.
Differences in infant mortality rates among industrialized nations may reflect disparities in the health status of women before and during pregnancy, as well as the quality and accessibility of primary care for pregnant women and infants. However, some of these differences may be due, in part, to the international variation in the definition, reporting, and measurement of infant mortality.
In 2004, the U.S. infant mortality rate was more than twice that of six other industrialized countries, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Sweden and Finland. Singapore had the lowest rate (2.0 per 1,000), followed by Hong Kong (2.5 per 1,000) and Japan (2.8 per 1,000).