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Bladen-County-SealBladen County’s infant mortality rate dropped significantly in 2014 to an average of 5.5 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to statistics released Monday by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The rate was 16.5 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013.

Bladen County has far fewer than 1,000 births per year, but state averages are based on that figure for comparison. The statistics show there were two infants deaths and 363 births in Bladen County in 2014. In 2013, there were six infant deaths and 363 births.

Statewide, the rate was 7.1 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, which was a slight increase from 2013’s record-tying low rate of seven deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the NCDHHS report. In 2014, there were 860 infant deaths and 120,948 births.

“The 2014 statistics are consistent with previous years, and we are being very purposeful about collaborating with providers and other partners to address the different factors that affect infant mortality,” said Deputy Secretary for health services of DHHS, Randall Williams, M.D., and Fellow of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Bladen’s 5.5 infant death rate for 2014 was the third lowest for the county since 2000, NCDHHS figures show. The lowest rate was in 2003, at 4.5, based on two deaths and 443 births. The highest rate was in 2005, at 25.1, based on 11 deaths and 439 births.

Here are infant mortality rate statistics for Bladen County and the state since 2000. Rates are based on 1,000 live births:

20142 of 3635.57.1
20136 of 36316.57.0
20123 of 3708.17.4
20113 of 3428.87.2
20102 of 3705.47.0
20094 of 37810.67.9
20083 of 4127.38.2
20073 of 4257.18.5
20067 of 47814.68.1
200511 of 43925.18.8
20046 of 46712.88.8
20032 of 4434.58.2
20025 of 43411.58.2
20014 of 4868.28.5
20004 of 4878.38.6

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