The infant mortality rate is the number of live born infant deaths (364 days or younger) per 1,000 live births in a population per year. It is a standard indicator of population health because it reflects the health status of women and infants as well as access to medical care, socioeconomic conditions and public health practices. Infant mortality is often used as an indicator of overall human development of a nation. In Canada, infant mortality has decreased steadily from 1979 (10.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births) to 2011 (4.8 deaths per 1,000 live births).
Similar to the national trend, the Simcoe Muskoka and Ontario infant mortality rates have both decreased since 1986. For the period 1986 to 1988 the infant mortality rates for Ontario and Simcoe Muskoka were 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births and 7.9 deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively. In comparison, the 2007 to 2009 rates for Ontario and Simcoe Muskoka were 5.1 deaths per 1,000 live births and 3.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively.