Infant mortality rate for 2020 ties for lowest rate in 50 years

The Center for Health Statistics released data for the 2020 infant mortality rate in Alabama at the end of December 2021.

The report by the Alabama Department of Health reported 7 deaths per 1,000 live births, tying it with 2018 for the lowest rate in more than five decades.

The three infant mortality rate (2018-20) is 7.2, the lowest on record.

According the Alabama Department of Health, Alabama still has a ways to go before meeting the U.S. of 5.5 in 2020.

In 2020, 404 infants under the age of 1 died in Alabama; 449 in 2019; 405 in 2018; and 405 in 2017.

The Statistical Analysis Division for the Center of Health said that the 10 percent decrease from 2019 to 2020 is not statistically significant.

SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) almost doubled from 2019 to 2020, rising from 24 to 43. It remains one of the top causes of death to infants along with short gestation period and low birth weight and deformations and chromosomal abnormalities.

The number of live births also decreased in 2020. The state saw 58,615 babies born in 2019 but only had 57,643 in 2020, reminiscent of birth numbers from the 1920s.

Along with the lower number of births, better and more obtainable health care could be one contribution contributing to the decrease in deaths.