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

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International Infant Mortality

In 2006, the U.S. infant mortality rate (6.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births) was higher than that of many other industrialized nations. This represents a slight decrease from the rate of 6.9 per 1,000 in 2005, and is 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 and the medical technology available to infants after birth. However, some of these differences may be due, in part, to the international variation in the definition, reporting, and measurement of fetal and infant deaths.

In 2006, the U.S. infant mortality rate was more than twice that of eight other industrialized countries (Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Portugal, and Czech Republic). Hong Kong had the lowest rate (1.8 per 1,000), followed by Japan and Singapore (2.6 per 1,000).

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