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 2020, Maine had a higher infant mortality rate than all of the other New England states. In 2020, Vermont was number 1 in the nation in 2020 with the lowest infant mortality rate at 3.5 per 1,000 births. Only 15 states had rates higher than Maine for the 1-year rate.

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 2016-2020 rate of 5.7 is the lowest since 2002-2006.

For the most recent 5-year period, 2016-2020, the counties with the highest infant mortality rates were and Franklin, Lincoln and Aroostook Counties with 5-yr rates of 8.7, 8.1 and 8.0 per 1,000 births respectively. The counties with the lowest rates per 1,000 births, based on 5-year averages for 2016-2020 were Hancock (3.2) and Waldo (4.1)


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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. 2020 refers to 2016-2020, and 2019 refers to 2015-2019 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 ultimat6 year of the five-year spread indicated here: 2020 represents the annual average of the data from 2015-2020, 2019 represents the annual average of data from 2015-2019, etc.

Uploaded March 2022