Why Is This Important?
Oakland County has 6 health systems and 13 hospitals within its borders, but not everyone has equal access. 4.2% of births in Oakland County in 2021 had inadequate prenatal care and 16.1% of births had only a level of prenatal care. Better prenatal care leads to healthier babies.
The infant mortality rate is the number of deaths among Oakland County resident babies less than 1 year of age divided by total live births times 1,000. The 3-year moving average calculates the rate based on the average number of deaths and births across three years, allowing for a steadier view of trends over time and more accurate comparisons between groups. To protect privacy and ensure data integrity, rates are not available for racial/ethnic groups with fewer than 6 deaths in a given time period.
Data source: Michigan resident live birth files and infant mortality files, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, MDHHS. Race-specific data obtained via data request on 10/11/2023.
Overall, the infant mortality rate in Oakland County has been decreasing from 2015 to 2021. During that same time, the black infant mortality rate was substantially higher than the overall rate and remained level.
Oakland County Health Division has 2 coalitions dedicated to investigating and preventing infant mortality, with special focus on the communities of Pontiac and Southfield.
Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) brings a multidisciplinary community team together to examine confidential, de-identified cases of fetal and infant deaths. The Best Start for Babies Oakland County (BSBOC) community action team acts on the recommendations made by FIMR to prevent infant deaths through education and community partnership.
Through an Infant Vitality Grant, the Health Division worked with community partners to facilitate listening sessions to better understand the tools and resources parents and/or caregivers utilize to care for children. Data collected from these sessions will help inform public health strategies and future programming to better serve our youngest residents and families.
For more information, visit the Oakland County Health Division.