Low birth-weight infants by county in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

Babies born with low birth weight are more likely than babies of normal weight to have health problems and require specialized medical care in the neonatal intensive care unit. Low birth weight is typically caused by premature birth and fetal growth restriction, both of which are influenced by a mother's health and genetics. The most important things an expectant mother can do to prevent low birth weight are to seek prenatal care, take prenatal vitamins, stop smoking, and stop drinking alcohol and using drugs.
Source for this info about low birth weight babies: Measuring What Matters Miami Dade.
Nationally, in 2020 was 8.2% of births were under 5.5 pounds, so Maine's rate is better than the national average. March of Dimes

What the data shows

Since 1998 the percent of low birth weight babies in Maine has generally been on an upward trend. It was 5.8% in 1998, compared to 6.9% - 7.5% between 2013-2020. It was 7.5% statewide in 2020 tied with 2014 for the highest rate since 1997.

In 2020, three counties had rates of low-birth weight babies above 10%. These were Lincoln, 12.0%, Oxford, 10.9% and Somerset, 10.0%. The counties were the lowest percentage of low-birth weight babies were Piscataquis, 5.7%, Knox, 5.8% and Washington, 5.9%.


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Data Provided By

Definitions: The number and percent of live births in which the newborn weighed less than 2500 grams (5.5 pounds). The numerator is the number of births under 5.5 pounds and the denominator is the number o f live births.

Data Source: Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics.

Footnotes: NA=Not available
LN= Low Numbers and data is suppressed.
Updated: February 2022