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 CDC, in 2017, Maine had a higher infant mortality rate than all of the other New England states except Rhode Island and 21st with Massachusetts being number 1 in the nation in 2017 with the lowest infant mortality rate at 3.7 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, for each of the last three 5-year time periods the state rate has gone down. The 2014-2018 rate of 6.0 is the lowest since 2008-2012.

For the most recent 5 year period, 2014-2018, the counties with the highest infant mortality rates were and Piscataquis, Lincoln and Aroostook Counties with 5-yr rates per 1,000 births of  10.2, 9.1 and 8.2 respectively. This means 1 out of 100 births in Piscataquis County resulted in an infant who died before age 1. The counties with the lowest rates per 1,000 births, based on 5-year averages for 2014-2018 were Hancock (3.9) and Oxford (4.1)

Updated October 2019

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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. 2018 refers to 2014-2018.

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: 2018 represents the annual average of the data from 2014-2018, 2017 represents the annual average of data from 2013-2017, etc.

Uploaded October 2019.