In 2010, California's infant mortality rate reached a record low of 4.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to data from the California Department of Public Health, U-T San Diego reports.
The data show that California had the fourth lowest infant mortality rate in the U.S. that year (Lavelle, U-T San Diego, 5/22).
According to DPH, the 2010 infant mortality rate decreased from 4.9 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2009 ("KPCC News," KPCC, 5/22).
Data show that the largest decline in infant mortality was among blacks, falling from 10.6 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2009 to 9.5 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010.
The rate among Hispanics decreased from 5 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2009 to 4.9 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010.
Meanwhile, the rate for whites remained the same from the previous year at 4.1 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Reason for the Decline
Health officials said that one of the factors contributing to the decrease in 2010 was a decline in the percentage of infants born prematurely at less than 37 weeks.
Premature births in 2010 accounted for 10% of all births in California, compared with 10.4% in 2009 (U-T San Diego, 5/22).
On Tuesday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reported on California's 2010 infant mortality rate (Milne, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 5/22).