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MICH-8.1 Data Details

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MICH-8.1 Reduce low birth weight (LBW)

About the Data

Description of the data source, numerator, denominator, survey questions, and other relevant details about the national estimate.

Data Source: 
National Vital Statistics System-Natality (NVSS-N); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics (CDC/NCHS)
Changed Since the Healthy People 2020 Launch: 
Baseline (Year): 
8.2 (2007)
Target-Setting Method: 
Projection/trend analysis
Target-Setting Method Justification: 
With the exception of a slight decrease in 2007, the low birth weight (LBW) rate has increased steadily over the past two decades. LBW is influenced by multiple factors, including obstetric intervention earlier in pregnancy, older maternal age at childbearing, and greater use of infertility therapies that result in more multiple births. A reduction of 5 percent in the next 10 years is the proposed target.

Number of live births with birth weight of less than 2,500 grams (5 lbs, 8oz)


Number of live births

Comparable Healthy People 2010 Objective: 
Retained from HP2010 objective
Data Collection Frequency: 
Methodology Notes: 

    Information on birthweight is available for the entire United States. Birthweight is reported in some areas in pounds and ounces and in other areas as grams. However, the metric system is used to tabulate and present the statistics to facilitate comparison with data published by other groups. The categories for birthweight are consistent with the recommendations in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD–10). ICD–10 defines low birthweight as less than 2,500 grams. Very low birthweight is defined as less than 1,500 grams.

    To establish the continuity of class intervals needed to convert pounds and ounces to grams, the end points of these intervals are assumed to be half an ounce less at the lower end and half an ounce more at the upper end. For example, 2 lb 4 oz–3 lb 4 oz is interpreted as 2 lb 3 ½ oz–3 lb 4 ½ oz.