At national level in England and Wales, infant mortality rates fell rapidly from the early 1970s and into the 1980s. Subnational areas have also experienced a reduction in levels of infant mortality. While rates continued to fall to 2006, the rate of reduction has slowed. Although the Government Office Regions Yorkshire and The Humber, the North West and the West Midlands and the Office for National Statistics local authority types Cities and Services and London Cosmopolitan have experienced relatively large absolute reductions in infant mortality, their rates remained high compared with the national average. Within all regions and local authority types, a strong relationship was found between ward level deprivation and infant mortality rates. Nevertheless, levels of infant mortality declined over time even in the most deprived areas with a narrowing of absolute differences in rates between areas. Areas in which the level of deprivation eased have experienced greater than average reductions in levels of infant mortality.