AUSTIN (KXAN) — The infant mortality rate increased by 3% from 2021 to 2022, the first increase in 20 years, according to provisional data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The rate showed a statistically significant increase in four states, including Texas, where there were 8% more deaths in 2022 than there were in 2021, per the CDC report.
Infant mortality refers to the death of a child before they reach their first birthday, and the infant mortality rate is calculated from the number of infant deaths annually for every 1,000 live births. The CDC’s provisional data showed 5.6 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2022, which was 3% higher than in 2021.
Healthy People, an organization that sets national objectives to improve health, has a goal of reducing the number of infant deaths per 1,000 to five by 2030.
The five leading causes of infant death in 2021 were birth defects, preterm birth or low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome, injuries and maternal pregnancy complications, according to the CDC.
Infant death is more likely to occur in some racial demographics — for example, non-Hispanic Black Americans have over twice the infant mortality deaths than their non-Hispanic white counterparts.
From 2021 to 2022, the mortality rate significantly increased for both Indigenous and White populations, according to the CDC.
The CDC data is new and provisional, and the authors didn’t report on any of the factors that may have contributed to the increase in rate.