ALABAMA – The Alabama Department of Public Health announced the 2020 infant mortality rate for the state is tied with 2018 for the lowest its been in over 50 years.

ADPH said Alabama’s rate is seven deaths per 1,000 live births and the three-year infant mortality rate (2018-2020) of 7.2 is the lowest on record. A total of 404 Alabama infants died in 2020 before reaching one year old.

The state’s rate is higher than the U.S rate, which was provisionally 5.5.

The three leading causes of infant death in 2020 are disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight, congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities and the final leading cause is sudden infant death syndrome.

ADPH said of the 404 total infant deaths in the state in 2020 48.5% (196 infants) were White, while about 49.3% (199 infants) were Black.

Bibb, Cherokee, Chilton, Choctaw, Franklin, Hale, Marengo, Wilcox and Winston counties all reported no infant deaths in 2020.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said, “The death of any infant is tragic. Alabama must continue our commitment to preventing infant deaths by promoting evidence-based initiatives to address this persistent need.”

ADPH also noted that the number of live births in 2020 was down to 57,643 in 2020 which is the lowest number of births in the states since the 1920s.