Culture of Vitality

Low birth-weight babies

Measure Baseline (2015) Current Target (2025) Trend Michigan Chart
Low birth-weight babies Disaggregated 8.0% 10.4% 7.8%

Rationale: This is the median labor force participation rate among a set of nine Midwestern cities of comparable size, demographics, and education levels; it is also the rate seen statewide in 2010. Source: PolicyLink analysis of demographic data from the US Census.

White 7% 8% 7.1%
Black 12% 19.1% 14.4%
Latino N/A 7.4% 7.4%
All other races 3% 0% 8.1%

About this measure

Low birthweight (LBW) is when a baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces (or 2,500 grams). A birthweight less than 3 pounds, 4 ounces (or 1,500 grams) is considered to be a very low birthweight. Some low birthweight babies are healthy, even though they’re small. But being low birthweight can cause serious health problems for some babies. For more about reproductive and birth outcomes (RBO), including additional resources about risk and prevention, please visit our RBO content page.

Source: Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Policies and programs to reduce the risk for low birth weight

  • Eliminate barriers to accessing prenatal care and allocate resources to support equity approaches to care for women that assures optimal health and well-being.
  • Prevent and manage chronic conditions to assure women are healthy before, during, and after pregnancy.
  • Improve maternal health behaviors, including appropriate maternal weight gain, and tobacco, alcohol, and illicit substance use.
  • Connect women to home visiting and other support programs, such as WIC, maximizing their opportunities for health and wellbeing.

Resources for this measure

Here are a variety of resources to help community members learn more about how they can have a safe pregnancy:

About the data

Definition: The percentage of live births weighing less than 5.5 pounds (2,500 grams).
Numerator: Live births weighing less than 5.5 pounds (2,500 grams).
Denominator: Total live births.
Frequency: Annual.
Baseline: 8% (2015)
Target: 7.8%
Rationale: 7.8% is the nationally accepted target for low-birth weight as specified by the federally sanctioned Healthy People 2020 initiative which identifies Leading Health Indicators aligned with nationwide priorities and are nationally accepted benchmarks for public health improvement.
Source: Division for Vital Records & Health Statistics, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services.