Low Birth Weight Babies

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Low Birth Weight Babies

What does this measure?

The proportion of babies born with low birth weight (less than 2,500 grams or about 5.5 pounds) out of all live births.

Why is this important?

Low birth weight is a leading predictor of neonatal death. Low birth-weight infants are also more likely than normal birth-weight infants to experience long-term developmental and neurological disabilities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that maternal smoking is the cause of 20% to 30% of all low-weight births in the United States.

How is the region performing?

The proportion of babies with low birth weight in the region has remained fairly steady from 2000 to 2018 between 6.4% and 7.8%. The rate decreased slightly from 2017 to 2018 (from 6.9% to 6.7%), and is lower than the peak of 7.8% in 2014. The region's rates have typically been lower than statewide rates (excluding NYC). Of the region's counties, Ulster had the highest rate in 2018 (7.1%) while Greene had the lowest (6.2%) followed by Columbia (6.4%). Among local areas for which data were available, the Village of Kiryas Joel and Woodbury had the lowest rate at 3.8% in 2018, while City of Middletown (9.3%) had the highest rate.

Notes about the data

Rates based upon small numbers in some of the geographies can vary widely, making it difficult to distinguish true changes from random fluctuations.

Low Birth Weight Babies
Columbia County7.3%6.9%6.2%6.9%8.5%7.0%7.4%7.7%8.3%9.4%6.2%7.5%7.9%6.1%8.1%5.7%3.9%6.5%6.4%
Dutchess County6.6%6.1%7.0%6.7%6.3%7.5%7.6%7.1%7.2%7.1%6.6%7.5%7.0%7.3%8.6%7.3%7.2%8.1%6.9%
Greene County7.9%7.7%5.9%6.3%7.4%12.1%5.9%13.1%9.3%10.0%9.5%8.4%8.5%6.2%8.8%6.6%8.7%7.8%6.2%
Orange County6.6%6.0%6.1%6.4%7.0%7.7%6.7%6.8%7.5%7.1%6.4%7.4%7.4%7.3%6.9%6.4%7.3%6.2%6.6%
Putnam County5.9%6.7%7.2%5.9%7.0%7.5%8.3%7.1%9.3%6.7%8.4%7.2%9.4%7.5%8.1%7.1%7.2%6.6%7.0%
Sullivan County6.6%7.1%6.7%8.0%7.3%7.8%9.7%8.3%9.3%8.5%10.1%9.5%8.3%9.0%9.0%9.8%7.7%7.3%6.7%
Ulster County6.2%6.9%6.9%5.7%8.5%8.3%8.1%6.7%7.8%6.7%7.3%5.9%5.4%7.0%7.9%7.1%7.1%7.4%7.1%
NYS (excluding NYC)7.3%7.0%7.5%7.4%7.6%7.7%7.9%7.7%7.6%7.7%7.7%7.8%7.5%7.5%7.7%7.5%7.6%7.7%7.7%
Dutchess Cities
Orange Cities
Orange Villages
Kiryas Joel3.1%4.7%5.4%4.5%5.5%5.5%3.4%3.7%5.1%4.5%4.5%2.2%3.8%
Ulster Cities

Source: New York State Department of Health
Notes: The benchmark for low birth weight is 2500 grams, or about 5.5 pounds.

Number of Low Birth Weight Babies
Columbia County48413744504344455153374142334030203330
Dutchess County220197224221199238231218211207190200190190231190181211176
Greene County38322728335526604144443635263525323027
Orange County322295308331367396365362404357322360351346333308358315333
Putnam County70808669827886749260786278606758595359
Sullivan County55605373616894798973847779757178665857
Ulster County1111251241041561481521241411141249986111120111107108109
NYS (excluding NYC)10,0869,3909,9009,8229,9109,93310,23810,0059,7529,6409,4959,4099,0698,9729,2608,9659,0439,0788,991
Dutchess Cities
Orange Cities
Orange Villages
Kiryas Joel17364333454630335451542647
Ulster Cities

Source: New York State Department of Health
Notes: The benchmark for low birth weight is 2500 grams, or about 5.5 pounds.

Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Rate of Child Abuse and Neglect Increasing
Rate of Foster Care Admissions Maintaining
Teen Pregnancy Decreasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Juvenile Delinquency Intakes Decreasing
Bullying at School Decreasing
Average Charitable Giving Increasing
Voter Registration Rate Increasing
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Total Population Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Types Not Applicable
Change in Total Jobs Increasing
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Employment by Sector Not Applicable
Spending for County Government Increasing
Tourism Revenue Increasing
Preschoolers Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per-Student Spending Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 4 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 4 English, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 4 Math, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 4 Math, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
High School Cohort Dropout Rate Decreasing
High School GED Rate Maintaining
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Decreasing
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Seniors Living in Poverty Maintaining
Children Receiving Subsidized Child Care Maintaining
Veterans Living in Poverty Decreasing
Economically Disadvantaged Students Increasing
Earned Income Tax Credit Participation Decreasing
Living Wage Rate by Household Type Not Applicable
Income in Relation to Poverty Level Not Applicable
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Early Prenatal Care, by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Domestic Violence Decreasing
Deaths from Drug Overdoses Increasing
Babies with Low Birth Weights Maintaining
People Living wth HIV Decreasing
Mental Health Clinic Visits Decreasing
Homeownership Rates Maintaining
Homeless Persons Maintaining
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Maintaining
Housing Affordability for Renters Not Applicable
Violent Crimes Decreasing