The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has announced that the state's overall infant mortality rate fell in 2014, but there are still significant racial disparities.

According to the 2014 estimate, Michigan's rate is currently down to 6.75 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. That's near the 2020 goal of six infant deaths per 1,000 live births.

However, numbers indicate persistent racial disparities. In 2013, five out of every 1,000 Caucasian babies and 10 out of every 1,000 Hispanic babies died before their first birthday. Among the African American population that rate is 13 out of every 1,000 babies.

The MDHHS has released the 2016-2019 Michigan Infant Mortality Reduction Plan. The plan includes nine goals and outlines progress made during the 2012-2015 Infant Mortality Reduction Plan.

“Creating an environment for healthy babies – an environment in which more babies thrive and celebrate their first birthday – is a goal of public health here in Michigan and across the country,” said Susan Moran, Deputy Director of the Population Health and Community Services Administration within MDHHS.