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

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Child Mortality

In 2007, 10,850 children aged 1 to 14 years died of various causes, which was an increase of 70 cases over the previous year. The overall mortality rate among children aged 1 to 4 years was 28.6 per 100,000 children in that age group, and the rate among children aged 5 to 14 years was 15.3 per 100,000 (data not shown).

Unintentional injury continued to be the leading cause of death among children in both age groups, accounting for 34 percent of all deaths among 1- to 4-year-olds and 36 percent of deaths among 5- to 14-year-olds. Among 1- to 4-year-olds, drowning was the leading cause of unintentional injury death (accounting for 29 percent), followed by motor vehicle traffic (27 percent), fires or burns (13 percent), suffocation (9 percent), and pedestrian injuries (8 percent; data not shown). Among 5- to 14-yearolds, motor vehicle traffic was the leading cause of unintentional injury death (53 percent), followed by drowning (10 percent), fires or burns (10 percent), land transport crashes (such as off-road vehicles, 6 percent), and suffocation (5 percent; data not shown). Congenital anomalies (birth defects), homicide, malignant neoplasms (cancer), and heart disease rounded out the top five leading causes of death for each age group, though in a different order for each.

Mortality rates were higher among males than females in each age group. There are also racial/ethnic disparities in child mortality, with non-Hispanic Black children experiencing higher mortality rates than children of other racial/ethnic groups. Among children aged 1 to 4 years, the rate was 43.7 per 100,000 for non-Hispanic Blacks, compared to rates of 26.0 and 25.5 per 100,000 for Hispanics and non- Hispanic Whites, respectively. Among children aged 5 to 9 years, rates were 18.6 per 100,000 for non-Hispanic Blacks, 13.4 per 100,000 for Hispanics, and 12.7 for non-Hispanic Whites. Among children aged 10 to 14 years, rates were 24.6, 14.9, and 15.7 per 100,000, respectively (data not shown).

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