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Low birth weight babies in Massachusetts

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Why This Indicator Matters

Babies born at a weight of 5.5 pounds or less are counted as “low birth weight.” Sometimes genetic reasons, including the size of the parents, explain this, but for many babies low birth weight is the result of a premature birth or of complications affecting growth while in the womb. 

Although some low birth weight babies are healthy, most are at greater risk for a variety of respiratory and other disorders, including heart problems, anemia, and infections. These babies are also at greater risk for poor growth through childhood and developmental problems.
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Definition and Source



Low birth weight: Infant births <2500 grams (<5.5 pounds)

Percent: Percent of total resident births with a low birth weight

Number: Number of total resident births with a low birth weight

NA: Not applicable as number and percentage based on four or fewer low birth weight babies suppressed


Data Source

Annual reports on Massachusetts Births, Massachusetts Department of Public Health



Resident births refer to births to mothers who report their usual place of residence as the particular geographical place (state, or city/town.)

Updated December 2023 with data from 2020.

Last Updated

January 2024