Infant mortality, 5-year averages in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

Infant mortality is an important marker of the overall health of a society.  Structural factors affecting the health of entire populations have an impact on the mortality rate of infants. In 2017, the infant mortality rate in the United States was 5.8 per 1,000 live births, unchanged from 2014. 
The most common causes of infant death in the United States were the following: birth defects, preterm birth and low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), pregnancy complications and accidents. CDC Facts about Infant Mortality

What the data shows
According to the National CDC, in 2018, Maine had a higher infant mortality rate than all of the other New England states except Vermont. In 2018, New Hampshire was number 1 in the nation in 2018 with the lowest infant mortality rate at 3.6 per 1,000 births.

In terms of trends, infant mortality statewide was lowest for the five year period ending in 2000 and ending in 2003 at 5.0. Since 2003, infant mortality was increasing, particularly between 2011-2015, when the rate increased each year. However, there is a new trend in a positive direction. For each of the last five 5-year time periods, the state infant mortality rate has gone down. The 2015-2019 rate of 5.8 is the lowest since 2007-2011.

For the most recent 5 year period, 2015-2019, the counties with the highest infant mortality rates were and Somerset, Franklin and  Knox Counties with 5-yr rates  of  8.8, 7.6 and 7.5 per 1,000 births respectively. The counties with the lowest rates per 1,000 births, based on 5-year averages for 2015-2019 were Piscataquis,, (3.0), Oxford (4.0) and Hancock (4.5).

Updated December 2020

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Definitions: The rate of deaths of infants under 1 year of age in comparison to live births occurring during the same time period. The rate is per 1,000 live births. The data are reported by place of residence, not the place of death. Data is reported as 5 year rates, where the year shown refers to the last year, i.e. 2019 refers to 2015-2019, and 2018 refers to 2014-2018 and so on.

Data Source: Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics.

Footnotes: Data represent five-year averages, with the ultimate year of the five-year spread indicated here: 2019represents the annual average of the data from 2015-2019, 2018 represents the annual average of data from 2014-2018, etc.

Uploaded December 2020.