© 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc. Objective: To assess the correlation between infant mortality and extreme prematurity by state. Study design: This ecological study included data on 28,526,534 infants from 2007 to 2013 in all 50 US states and DC using CDC WONDER linked birth and infant death records. Regression analyses determined the correlation between infant and neonatal mortality rates and the proportion of extremely preterm, extremely low birth weight, and black births by state. Results: State infant and neonatal mortality rates were directly and highly correlated with the proportion of extremely preterm births (infant, r2 = 0.71, P < 0.001; neonatal, r2 = 0.77, P < 0.001) and extremely low birth weight births (r2 = 0.63, P < 0.001; r2 = 0.73, P < 0.001). The proportion of black births also correlated directly with infant and neonatal mortality rates. Conclusions: Interstate variation in infant and neonatal mortality rates are primarily driven by rates of extremely preterm and extremely low birth weight births which is closely related to the proportion of black births.