Change Indicator

Infant mortality by weeks of gestation and race in Delaware

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Why This Indicator Matters

The infant mortality rate is an important indicator of the overall well-being of a society. Infant mortality is related to the underlying health of the mother, public health practices, socioeconomic conditions and availability and use of appropriate health care for infants and pregnant women. The primary causes of infant mortality are birth defects, disorders related to short gestation/low birth weight, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and issues related to pregnancy and birth, including substance abuse. Since mothers and infants are among the most vulnerable members of society, infant mortality is a measure of a society's concern and investment in supporting community health. In addition, disparities in infant mortality by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status are an important measure of the inequalities that exist within society. Proper prenatal care and well-baby preventive care offer opportunities to identify and lower some risk factors for infant mortality.
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Definition and Source



Infant mortality = deaths occurring in the first year of life
Rate per 1,000 live births

Gestation = the period of time a baby is carried in the uterus, usually referred to in weeks. A full-term gestation is between 37 and 42 weeks. Weeks of Gestation – the number of weeks elapsed between the first day of the last normal menstrual period and the date of birth

Data Source

Delaware Health Statistics Center

Last Updated

September 2023