N.H. ranks lowest for child mortality

New Hampshire performed better than any other state in the country when it came to infant and child mortality rates, according to a national survey of children’s health and wellness indicators.

The Kids Count survey rates states on various indicators of children’s health and wellbeing based on 2003 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics and National Vital Statistics reports, the most current year available.

New Hampshire had the lowest infant mortality rate, defined as deaths occurring to infants under 1 year of age per 1,000 live births, at 4.0, well under the national average of 6.9.

In New England, Massachusetts was ranked third, with a rate of 4.9, and Maine and Vermont were ranked fourth and fifth, with rates of 4.9 and 5.0 respectively. Connecticut ranked eighth (5.4) and Rhode Island ranked 24th (6.7).

Mississippi had the highest infant mortality rate at 10.7.

The Granite State also had the lowest number of deaths of children aged 1 to 14 years per 100,000 in this age group, at 12.0.

All of New England was also above the national average for death of teens aged 15 to 19 years per 100,000 deaths in the age group at 66. New Hampshire ranked the lowest in the six-state region and third nationally with a teen death rate of 46. Alaska with a teen death rate at 105 was again ranked last.

“Kids Count exists to measure child outcomes and contribute to public accountability resulting in a data-driven advocacy for children and their families,” said Maggie Bishop, director of the Division for Children Youth and Families. “The current data report demonstrates our successful commitment to secure a better future for children. We should all be encouraged to continue our collaborative work to inform and strengthen public action on behalf of children and families within our state.”

To view a copy of the report, visit aecf.org/kidscount. — CINDY KIBBE

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