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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Minority Health

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September is National Infant Mortality Awareness Month

The death of a baby before his or her first birthday is called infant mortality. The infant mortality rate is an estimate of the number of infant deaths for every 1,000 live births. This rate is often used as an indicator to measure the health and well-being of a nation, because factors affecting the health of entire populations can also impact the mortality rate of infants (

September is Infant Mortality Awareness Month and the Office of Minority Health is encouraging everyone to get involved to help reduce the infant mortality rate, particularly in minority communities.

Infant Mortality and Minority Populations

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the risk of infants dying in their first year of life is declining in the U.S., with an all-time low infant mortality rate.

But the U.S. still ranks 27th among industrialized nations, and disparities by race and ethnicity persist. For example, the infant mortality rate among African Americans is more than twice that of non-Hispanic whites. The rate for 60 percent higher among American Indian/Alaska Native infants and 40 percent higher among Puerto Rican infants, as compared to non-Hispanic whites.

Learn more about infant mortality from HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau

Statistics on African Americans and Infant Mortality

Statistics on American Indian/Alaska Natives and Infant Mortality

Statistics on Asian Americans and Infant Mortality

Statistics on Hispanics/Latinos and Infant Mortality

Statistics on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Infant Mortality

Campaigns and Resources

Parents walking with babies in strollers

African American children playing with hula hoops Baby Buggy Walk in the Park
A Healthy Baby Begins With You
Native Generations
Preconception Peer Educators
It’s Only Natural, HHS Office on Women’s Health


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9/8/2016 9:38:00 AM