In 2011, Indiana ranked 47th among states for infant mortality rate, with 7.7 of every 1,000 children who were born alive dying before their first birthday, according to provisional data.
This figure is largely unchanged from a decade earlier. In 2009, the rate was 7.8, and in 2002 it was 7.6. At that time, the state set a goal of reducing the rate to 4.5 per 1,000 births in 2010. Clearly, we still have a long way to go to reach that level.
Indiana’s top health official called the rate a “horrible” situation. State Health Commissioner Dr. William C. VanNess II said lowering the death rate among the state’s youngest residents is one of the State Department of Health’s top three initiatives. He said the state “can’t keep this hidden anymore.”