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In 2022, the United States saw a 3% increase in the infant mortality rate, which represents the most significant rise in two decades. The national infant mortality rate climbed from 5.44 per 1,000 live births to 5.6 per 1,000, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although it appears as a seemingly small increase, it’s the first statistically significant jump since the rise recorded between 2001-2002. Notably, the rise in infant mortality especially affected Native American infants, boys, and babies born at 37 weeks or earlier. 

Could it be a trend in infant mortality? The reasons for the increase remain unclear, but the resurgence of RSV and flu infections may have contributed. Even so, overall death rates for Americans decreased by 5% in 2022—likely due to the easing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older individuals.

Infant Mortality Increases By 3%