Infant Mortality Information

Photo of a newborn in the hospital

The infant mortality rate (IMR) is the number of deaths of infants under one year of age per 1,000 live births in a given population.

  • Tennessee has one of the highest infant mortality rates (8.0) in the country (average of the rest of the U.S. is 6.32) Ranks 46th in the country
  • Costs the state $610 million of dollars annually (TN DOH)
  • Many unknown causes of infant mortality underscore the need for innovative programs and initiatives to fight this daunting crisis

According to a 2008 press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the infant mortality rate in the U.S. should be 4.5 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. In 2010, the U.S. IMR was 6.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, nearly 50% higher than the national goal. In Tennessee in 2010, the IMR was 7.9 deaths per 1,000 births.

The following table displays 2010 infant mortality rates in Shelby County, Hamilton County, the States of Tennessee and the US.

Shelby County* Hamilton County* Tennessee* U.S.**
Rate per 1000 10.3 9.7 7.9 6.2

*Source: Tennessee Department of Health, Office of Policy, Planning and Assessment, Division of Health Statistics.

**Source: Provisional data from the National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC

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Contact Us

The BLUES Project
Department of Obstetrics
and Gynecology
Rout Center for Women
and Newborns
853 Jefferson Ave. E140A
Memphis, TN 38163

Phone: (901) 448-5135
Fax: (901) 448-1532