Data Brief, No. 300. Differences Between Rural and Urban Areas in Mortality Rates for the Leading Causes of Infant Death: United States, 2013–2015.
This data brief describes the mortality rates for the five leading causes of infant, neonatal, and postneonatal death in the United States across rural, small and medium urban, and large urban counties defined by maternal residence, as reported on the birth certificate for combined years 2013–2015. In 2013–2015, total infant and postneonatal mortality rates were highest in rural counties, followed by small and medium urban counties; the lowest rates were in large urban counties. Rural and small and medium urban counties had higher neonatal mortality rates compared with large urban counties. Of the three urbanization areas, rural counties had the highest neonatal mortality rates for congenital malformations, followed by small and medium urban counties; large urban counties had the lowest. Rural counties had higher postneonatal mortality rates compared with large urban counties for sudden infant death syndrome, congenital malformations, unintentional injuries, and homicide. Postneonatal mortality rates in small and medium urban counties for sudden infant death syndrome, congenital malformations, and unintentional injuries were lower than the rates in rural counties and higher than the rates in large urban counties. Neonatal mortality rates for low birthweight and maternal complications of pregnancy were lower in rural counties than in small and medium urban and large urban counties. These results are consistent with other research showing differences between rural and urban places in cause of death and mortality rates for individuals aged 1 year and over. Data from the period linked birth/infant death data set, which is part of the National Vital Statistics System were used for these analyses.