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Low-weight births babies in Puerto Rico

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Why This Indicator Matters

Birth weight is an important indicator of an infant's health. Babies born with a low birth weight (less than 5.5 pounds) have a higher probability of experiencing developmental problems and short- and long- term dissabilities. They are also at greater risk of dying within the first year of life. Infections, multiple births, obesity, poor nutrition, poverty, smoking and violence can increase the chances of a baby being born at a low birth weight. Compared with another affluent countries, the United States has among the highest percentage of babies born at a low weight with 8 percent in 2016, while Puerto Rico is in 10 percent. March of Dimes of Puerto Rico estimates that a healthy birth can cost around $5,000 in comparison with a birth with complications, such as prematurity or low birth weight, that can sum up to $55,000.
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Definition and Source



Live births weighing less than 2,500 grams (5.5 pounds). The data are reported by place of mother's residence, not place of birth. Each year there is a small number of births in which the weight of the newborn is not recorded, and births of unknown weight are not included in these calculations.

Data Source

As a result of a data petition to the Puerto Rico Department of Health, Auxiliary Secretariat for Planning and Development, Division of Statistical Analysis.


Last Updated

May 2024