Fetal Mortality Declined 5% Between 2021 and 2022

Posted on by Christy Hagen

An image on the left shows a white flower floating on the water, and a transparent background box on the right states the overall fetal mortality rate declined 5% from 2021 to 2022.According to analysis of data from the National Vital Statistics System, the overall fetal mortality rate in the United States declined 5% between 2021 and 2022, from 5.73 fetal deaths per 1,000 live births and fetal deaths to 5.45.

The Vital Statistics Rapid Release, “Fetal Mortality in the United States: Final 2020-2021 and 2021-Provisional 2022” describes changes in fetal mortality rates by duration of gestation, by race and Hispanic origin, and by state. Findings are based on data for fetal deaths occurring at 20 weeks of gestation or more.

From 2021 to 2022:

  • The fetal mortality rate declined for fetal deaths at both 20–27 weeks of gestation (early fetal deaths) (6%) and 28 weeks of gestation or more (late fetal deaths) (4%).
  • The fetal mortality rate declined for White non-Hispanic (8%) and Hispanic (5%) women but did not change significantly for all other race and Hispanic-origin groups.
  • Fetal mortality rates decreased in 7 states and were not significantly different for 43 states and the District of Columbia; however, the small number of fetal deaths in some states by year can limit the ability to detect statistically significant changes between years and between states.

In comparison, from 2020 to 2021, fetal mortality rates did not change significantly overall, for early or late fetal deaths, for most race and Hispanic-origin groups, or for most states, but the rate declined by 4% for Black women.

The National Vital Statistics System is the mechanism by which the National Center for Health Statistics collects and disseminates the Nation’s official vital statistics. Data are provided from state, city and U.S. territory registries of birth, marriage, divorce, and death certificates.

Posted on by Christy Hagen
Page last reviewed: November 7, 2023
Page last updated: November 7, 2023