March 2018 Release

INFANT MORTALITY:  For every 1,000 Michigan live births, almost seven infants die before reaching their first birthday. In 2016, 730 infants under the age of one year died, resulting in an infant mortality rate of 6.4 per 1,000 live births. Michigan experienced a significant decline in infant mortality during the early 1990s; but during the 2000s the infant mortality rates remained around 7.9 deaths per 1,000 births. The 2016 rate indicates a drop of the mortality rates to about 7.0 since 2010, from the 7.9 average in the previous decade. The total number of Michigan infants who died between 2010-2016 was 5,421. (See Number of Infant Deaths, Live Births and Infant Death Rates for Michigan Residents, 1970-2016.)

The perinatal death rate has not significantly changed in years; the rate has been approximately 9 fetal or hebdomadal deaths per 100,000 live births since around 2011. The perinatal death rate was 8.8 in 2016. (See Infant, Hebdomadal, Fetal and Perinatal Death Rates, Michigan 2007-2017.)

The preliminary data suggests that the infant mortality rate will be no lower than 6.5 for 2017; this rate is about the same as the infant death rate in 2016. In this decade, the infant death rate is gradually declining and will probabily be about 6.0 by 2020. (See Infant Mortality Rates & Forecasts, Michigan 1970-2025.)

Both the white and black infant mortality rates remained about the same in recent years, with a persistant racial disparity of about 2.8 black deaths for every 1 white death. In 2005, the white infant death rate was 5.5, and was comparable to the previous ten-year 1996-2005 average of 6.0 deaths per 1,000 white births. The black infant death rate was 17.9 in 2005, and was also comparable to the previous decade average of 17.6 deaths per 1,000 black births. In 2016 the white infant mortality rate was 4.8 per 1,000 live births while the black rate was 13.3 per 1,000 live births. Between 2006-2016 the white infant mortality rate has remained about the same, while the black rate has declined by 25% due to a reduction of infant deaths since 2005. The decline in the Michigan infant mortality rate is largely due to a reduction in black infant deaths. (See Number of Infant Deaths, Live Births and Infant Death Rates by Race for Michigan Residents, 1970-2016.)

Between 2000-2013, the Native American infant death rate remained on average 11 deaths per 1,000 live births. Between 2014-2016, the rate increased to 14 deaths per 1,000 births. This is the first time in the last two decades that the Native American infant death rate has exceeded the African American rate. (See Three-year Average Infant Death Rates by Race and Ancestry.).

The Michigan infant mortality rate continues to be higher than the last reported national rate. The 2016 infant death rate for the United States is 5.9. (See Number and Rate of Infant Deaths by Race, Michigan and United States Residents, 1989-2016.)

LIVE BIRTHS: In 2016, the number of live births increased to 113,374, from the 2015 live birth count of 113,211. However, the 2012-2016 numbers represent historic lows, and Michigan's birth count has gradually decreased since at least 1990. Nationally, there were 3,941,109 births in the U.S. in 2016, a decline of 8.7% from the record number reported for 2007 and a 0.9% decrease from last year.

CAUSES OF DEATH: In 2016, 31.2% of infants died due to conditions related to prematurity and 21% died due to birth defects. In addition, 11.2% infants died due to accidents; 8.2% of all infant deaths were due to accidental suffocation in bed. (See Number of Infant Deaths by Cause of Death, 2014-2016.)

Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) declined from about 15 per 1,000 live births in the early eighties to about 5 per 1,000 by the late nineties. Due to surfactant and other therapies, the number of RDS deaths has continued to decline to less than 2 per 1,000 live births in 2016. In the past few years, the SIDS death rate has remained about 3 per 1,000 live births.

CHARACTERISTICS OF NEWBORN: Certain newborns are at higher risk of dying. In 2016 infants born with very low birth weight (less than 1,500 grams) experienced an infant death rate of 216.0 per 1,000 live births compared to a rate of 2.3 for those infants weighing 2,500 grams or more. Multiple birth infants had an infant mortality rate of 23.5 per 1,000 live births compared to the rate of 5.7 for single birth infants. The excess male infant mortality normally reported in other years was present in 2016, with the infant mortality for male infants at 7.1 per 1,000 male live births and females at 5.7 per 1,000 female live births. (See Number of Infant Deaths, Live Births and Infant Death Rates by Selected Characteristics of Newborn and of Mother for Michigan Residents, 2016.)

CHARACTERISTICS OF MOTHER: Infant death rates were the lowest for mothers aged 30-39 years old and highest for mothers aged under 20 years old. Unmarried mothers had infant mortality rates about twice those of married mothers. Women receiving inadequate prenatal care experienced infant mortality rates three times as high as those women receiving adequate prenatal care. Mothers exposed to secondhand smoking while pregnant had an infant death rate of 8.7 per 1,000 live births compared to a rate of 5.5 for mothers who were not exposed to secondhand smoking during pregnancy. (See Number of Infant Deaths, Live Births and Infant Death Rates by Selected Characteristics of Newborn and of Mother for Michigan Residents, 2016.)


March 2018 Release: Certain mortality records are finalized very late due to forensic enquiries, or for administrative purposes or for other exceptional reasons. In 2015, 5 infant death records were not reported until after the division had released the 2015 Infant Death Report. These infant deaths raised the number of deaths from 765 to 770; and they are reported in the 2016 report. In addition, the DVRHS anticipates that the 2016 infant death count will be revised as well. For purposes of referring to data pubished in this report, the DVRHS will refer to this data set as the "March 2018 release."


COMMUNITY LEVEL DATA: Infant mortality data are available at this site for most communities in Michigan. Data for local health department districts, counties and major cities and townships can be reached by using the Community Health Information Infant Mortality page. Supplementary tables? specific to Michigan are available at the Michigan Vital Statistics Infant Mortality Statistics home page.

Questions regarding Infant Death Statistics should be directed to:

Lindsey Myers
Division for Vital Records & Health Statistics
Michigan Department of Health & Human Services
333 S. Grand Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933

(517) 335-8715 Voice
(517) 335-8711 FAX