Pre-term births (single year data) by county in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

Babies born before 37 weeks are more likely to have health problems and often need to stay in the hospital longer than babies born later. There can be a greater likelihood of intellectual delays and behavioral health issues such as ADHD or Autism and neurological issues such as cerebral palsy. Finding and treating health problems as early as possible — and preventing premature birth overall — can help babies lead longer, healthier lives. March of Dimes- preterm birth health issues

What the Data Shows
Approximately 10.1% of all births in the US 2020 were premature compared to 8.9% in Maine. In United States, the preterm birth rate among black women is 14.2%, significantly higher than the rate among all other women. Preterm babies 2020 facts  

In Maine, the percent of preterm births has been on an upward trend since 2012. This trend of recent increases mirrors national data.  The 2019 rate in Maine was 9.0% and in 2020 it was 8.9%.

For 2019, the counties with the highest rate of preterm births as a percentage of all births were: Lincoln (12.6%) and Hancock (12.1%) while the counties with the lowest rate of preterm births were: Sagadahoc (6.8%), Waldo (7.5%) and Kennebec (8.0%).

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Data Provided By

Definitions: 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: 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 February 2022.