How is the infant mortality rate for your state or territory derived?
The survival of infants in their first year of life is commonly viewed as an indicator of the general health and wellbeing of a population. A low infant mortality rate is a major contributor to increased life expectancy.
The main source of data for this indicator is the ABS Deaths collection, compiled from data provided by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in each state and territory. An infant death is the death of a child before its first birthday. The infant mortality rate is the number of deaths in a calendar year of children aged under one year per 1,000 live births in the same calendar year.
The improved survival of babies in Australia in the last century, as in many other developed countries, has been associated mainly with the decline of infectious diseases, along with growing preventative health measures and public health programs. Further improvements in the second half of the century were largely due to improved medical technology and education campaigns about the importance of immunisation and most recently, in the case of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), infant sleeping position. Improvements in neonatal intensive care in the 1970s also played a major role in the continued decline in infant mortality in the latter part of the century.
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