Babies with Low Birth Weights
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 Dutchess County performing?
In 2014, 8.6% of babies born in Dutchess had low birth weights, up 2 points since 2000. Dutchess County had the highest rate in the region and was above the state (excluding NYC) rate of 7.7% in 2014, the first time the county's rate surpassed the state.
Among local areas for which data were available, Poughkeepsie's rate was 7.9% and Beacon's was 7.8% in 2014.
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.