A new report shows North Carolina's infant mortality rate is higher than the national average. 

The study was conducted by the policy organization Zero to Three and the research group Child Trends. It focuses on children from infancy to three years old.

In addition to North Carolina having a higher-than-average infant mortality rate, the state also has a greater percentage of babies with a low birthweight.

The report shows there have been some positive developments. Infants and toddlers in low-income families are insured at a higher percentage in North Carolina than the national average. And the state has done well at making sure children receive recommended vaccinations.

Michele Rivest is policy director for the NC Early Education Coalition. She tells The News and Observer that the study provides a beneficial road map for the future, indicating the best areas to invest in when it comes to health, economic security, and safety.

Rivest says a key to improving infant health is making sure pregnant women and younger families are getting the support they need.

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