U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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Child Mortality

In 2006, 10,780 children between the ages of 1 and 14 years died of various causes; this was nearly 600 fewer than the previous year. The overall mortality rate among 1- to 4-year-olds was 28.4 per 100,000 children in that age group, and the rate among 5- to 14-year-old children was 15.2 per 100,000. Each of these rates is approximately one percentage point lower than the previous year.

Unintentional injury continued to be the leading cause of death among both 1- to 4-year-olds and 5- to 14-year-olds, accounting for 35 percent and 37 percent of all deaths, respectively. Among the younger group, the next leading cause of death was congenital anomalies (birth defects), followed by malignant neoplasms (cancer), homicide, and diseases of the heart. Among the older group, the second leading cause of death was malignant neoplasms, followed by homicide and congenital anomalies.

Mortality rates were higher among males than females for both the 1- to 4-year-old and 5- to 14-year-old age groups (30.5 versus 26.3 and 17.6 versus 12.8 per 100,000, respectively, in 2006; data not shown). For both age groups, non-Hispanic Black children had the highest mortality rates (44.3 per 100,000 for 1- to 4-year-olds and 21.9 for 5- to 14-year-olds). Non-Hispanic White and Hispanic children had much lower mortality rates. Among Hispanics, rates were 26.4 per 100,000 for 1- to 4-year olds and 14.2 per 100,000 for 5- to 14-year-olds. Among non-Hispanic Whites, rates were 25.0 and 14.0 per 100,000, respectively (data not shown).

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