Infant mortality rates in Costa Rica did not vary last year compared to 2005, according to a statement from the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC).
During 2006, 9.71 deaths were registered for every 1,000 live births, a slight decrease from the 9.78 deaths for every 1,000 live births registered in 2005.
The highest rate of infant mortality last year was in the Pacific province of Puntarenas (11.14 for every 1,000 live births), while the lowest was in the province of Heredia, north of San José (seven for every 1,000 live births).
Last year, 71,291 babies were born in Costa Rica, 692 of whom died, mostly because of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, as well as disorders caused by insufficient gestation periods and fetal growth.
In terms of gender, infant mortality rates also remained similar to the previous year, with an average of 10.97 boys and 8.4 girls dying for every 1,000 live births.
The INEC survey did not include infant mortality in indigenous reserves, but a study released recently by the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) found these rates to be as much as double the national average in some indigenous territories.