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KWIC Indicator Narrative

Child and Adolescent Mortality (Three-Year Average)

Data Provider: NYS Department of Health


Related Indicators:

Life Area:

Physical and Emotional Health


Child and adolescent mortality is the total number of deaths to children between 1 and 19 years of age. The annual number of these deaths per 100,000 children/youth ages 1 to 4 years, 5 to 9 years, 10 to 14 years, and 15 to 19 years.

Because many of the Physical and Emotional Health Indicators describe relatively rare events in many counties, the numbers and rates for these indicators are presented as three-year averages. Three-year averaging improves the reliability of the data in counties with small populations, where slight variations in the number of events can result in large fluctuations in their annual rates. So that all of the Physical and Emotional Health Indicators can be consistently presented, all are presented as three-year averages.


The leading causes of child mortality are unintentional injury deaths and cancer. Unintentional injury deaths include non-motor/ motor vehicle injuries, homicide and legal interventions, and suicide. Most injuries are predictable and potentially preventable. As the age group changes, so does the cause of death (Public Health Policy Advisory Board, 1999).

Healthy People 2020 objectives 3.1, 3.2, 4.1 and 4.2 call for a national reduction in child deaths with a 10 percent improvement within each age-specific group.  New York State has exceeded the national goals and continues to show slight improvement.  (Healthy People 2020).


  • In New York State, during 2012-2014, an average of 184 children aged 1 to 4 years died per year, with an annual rate of 19.7 per 100, 000 population. In New York City the mortality rate for this age group of children was 18.2 which is slightly lower than the rate for the Rest of State at 21 per 100,000 children.
  • Among children aged 5 to 9 years old the mortality rate in New York State was 10 per 100,000 and an average 115 deaths per year in 2012-2014. The New York City mortality rate (11.2) was slightly higher compared to the rate for the Rest of State (9.2). 
  • The third highest mortality age group under age 20 is among adolescents aged 10 to 14 years. In New York State, there was an average of 138 deaths annually in 2012-2014 and a mortality rate of 11.7 per 100,000.  In New York City, an average of 59 children in this age group died per year and 79 per year in the Rest of State.
  • Deaths to adolescents aged 15 to 19 years account for the largest proportion of deaths among children under 20 years of age and the largest percentage point decline compared to 2011-2013, of 2.9 percentage points. The 2012-2014 Statewide rate was 30.5 per 100,000 with an annual average of 435 deaths per year.  New York City had the lowest rate at 28.2 and Rest of State was 32 per 100,000 young adults.


Healthy People 2020 [Internet]. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion [cited 12/7/2015]. Available from:

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