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 Orange County performing?
From 2000 to 2014, the proportion of babies with low birth weights in Orange County fluctuated in the 6-8% range and was 6.9% in 2014, down from a high of 7.7% in 2005. Orange was the only county in the region to see a reduction in its rate from 2013 to 2014, and has the lowest regional rate in 2014. Orange County's rate is below the state (excluding NYC) and national rates.
Among local areas for which data were available, Middletown's rate was 8.7%, Newburgh's 11%, and Kiryas Joel's 5.1%.
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.