Pre-term births in Maine
Why This Indicator Matters
What the Data Shows
Approximately 10.5% of all births in the US 2021 were premature compared to 9.3% in Maine. In both United States and in Maine, preterm births spiked in 2021, with the highest rates in 15 years.
In the United States in 2021, the preterm birth rate among black women is 14.7%, 62% higher than the rate among all other women. Preterm births rise in 2021
In Maine, the percent of preterm births has been on an upward trend since 2012. This trend of recent increases mirrors national data. The 2021 rate in Maine was 9.3% and in 2020 it was 8.9% and in 2017 just 8.1%.
For 2021, the counties with the highest rate of preterm births as a percentage of all births were: Waldo (12.0%), Lincoln (11.4%) and Penobscot (11.4%) while the counties with rates of preterm births under 8.0% were: Cumberland and Knox, both at 7.9%.
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The number and percent of live births in which the newborn was born at less than 37 weeks gestation.
The numerator is the number of live births with 37 or less weeks of gestation and the denominator is all live births.
Data Source: Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics.
Footnotes: NA=Not available, * means the numbers are suppressed due to low numbers.
State-level data available back to 1990. County-level data not available for all years prior to 2009.
Note that the state totals include any preterm births where the county is not known.
Updated January 2023.
Maine Children's Alliance
The Maine Children's Alliance advocates for sound public policies and promotes best practices to improve the lives of all Maine's children, youth and families.Learn More
- Maine Children's Alliance
- Maine KIDS COUNT Project
- 331 State Street
- Augusta, ME 04330
- Helen Hemminger
- Research and KIDS COUNT Associate
- 207-623-1868 ext. 203