ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — A new report from the New York State Department of Health shows that infant mortality has declined.

“Infant mortality is defined as the death of an infant before the age of one,” the state report says.

This decreased at a greater rate than the country overall between 2016 and 2019. New York was ranked fourth overall in infant mortality in 2020.

“Between 2016 and 2019, the number of NYS infant deaths declined by 12 percent from 4.36 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2016 to 3.85 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2019,” the report said.

For the United States overall, the decline was five percent, from 5.87 deaths per 1,000 live births to 5.58 deaths per 1,000 live births.

“The NYS infant mortality rate remains below the Healthy People (HP) 2030 target of 5.0 deaths per 1,000 live births, but there is still opportunity for improvement,” the report said.

Although the infant mortality rate in New York went down overall between 2016 and 2019, the state says the mortality rate for non-Hispanic Black infants slightly increased from 8.37 to 8.46 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Here are the changes in other racial groups in New York:

Hispanic3.93 per 1,0003.41 per 1,000
Non-Hispanic White3.52 per 1,0003.07 per 1,000
Non-Hispanic Asian3.03 per 1,0001.66 per 1,000
Non-Hispanic Other6.99 per 1,0006.44 per 1,000

“The factors driving disparities in infant health are multifactorial and complex,” the report says. “These factors include employment status, income, housing, transportation, food security, access to healthy foods, stress, social supports, healthcare coverage, and quality of medical care received which negatively affect the birthing person. Historic and persistentracism and discrimination also play a role in driving racial disparities in infant health.”

Upstate New York, which this report defined as the Finger Lakes, Western New York, Central New York and Northeast New York, had a higher infant mortality rate than downstate, when looking at 2016 to 2019 as a whole.

  • Upstate: 5.6 deaths per 1,000 live births
  • Downstate: 3.44 deaths per 1,000 live births