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Cape May County Public Health Profile Report

Low Birth Weight: Percentage of Live Births, 2016

  • Cape May
    95% Confidence Interval (4.5% - 7.9%)
  • Cape May Compared to State

    gauge ranking
    Description of Gauge

    Description of the Gauge

    This graphic is based on the county data to the left. It compares the county value of this indicator to the state overall value.
    • Excellent = The county's value on this indicator is BETTER than the state value, and the difference IS statistically significant.
    • Watch = The county's value is BETTER than state value, but the difference IS NOT statistically significant.
    • Improvement Needed = The county's value on this indicator is WORSE than the state value, but the difference IS NOT statistically significant.
    • Reason for Concern = The county's value on this indicator is WORSE than the state value, and the difference IS statistically significant.

    The county value is considered statistically significantly different from the state value if the state value is outside the range of the county's 95% confidence interval. If the county's data or 95% confidence interval information is not available, a blank gauge image will be displayed with the message, "missing information."
    NOTE: The labels used on the gauge graphic are meant to describe the county's status in plain language. The placement of the gauge needle is based solely on the statistical difference between the county and state values. When selecting priority health issues to work on, a county should take into account additional factors such as how much improvement could be made, the U.S. value, the statistical stability of the county number, the severity of the health condition, and whether the difference is clinically significant.

Why Is This Important?

Low birth weight (LBW) increases the risk for infant morbidity and mortality. LBW infants are at greater risk of dying in the first month of life. LBW infants may require intensive care at birth and are at higher risk of developmental disabilities and chronic illnesses throughout life. They are more likely to require special education services. Health care costs and length of hospital stay are higher for LBW infants.

How Are We Doing?

In New Jersey, the average birth weight is 3,260 grams or 7 lbs 3 oz. The overall low birth weight (LBW) rate reached an all time high of 8.4% in 2011. In 2010, for the first time, the New York City Department of Health provided birth weight data for New Jersey residents who delivered in NYC. This additional information is the cause of the sudden increase in LBW beginning in 2010. LBW rates vary widely across the state and by several maternal and infant characteristics. Black mothers are more likely to deliver LBW infants than are other racial/ethnic groups. The rate among Black mothers is higher for mothers born in the US than those born elsewhere. Among Hispanics, the highest rate is among those mothers who were born in a US territory (predominantly Puerto Rico), followed by those born in the 50 states and DC. The LBW rate among Hispanic mothers born outside of the US and its territories is significantly lower. LBW rates are lowest among mothers ages 20-34 years. Nearly all triplets are born with LBW, as are more than half of twins. As expected, LBW is negatively correlated with gestational age. Less than 3% of full term infants are of LBW. LBW rates for New Jersey's counties range from 6% in Cape May County to 10% in Cumberland County.

What Is Being Done?

The [ Division of Family Health Services] in the New Jersey Department of Health administers programs to enhance the health, safety and well-being of families and communities in New Jersey. Several programs are aimed at improving birth outcomes.

Healthy People Objective MICH-8.1:

Low birth weight (LBW)
U.S. Target: 7.8 percent
State Target: 7.7 percent

Data Sources

Birth Certificate Database, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, New Jersey Department of Health  

Measure Description for Low Birth Weight

Definition: Percent of live-born infants delivered with a birth weight of less than 2,500 grams (about 5 lbs, 8 oz)
Numerator: Number of live-born infants with a birth weight of less than 2,500 grams born to resident mothers
Denominator: Number of live-born infants born to resident mothers

Indicator Profile Report

Low Birth Weight (exits this report)

Date Content Last Updated

The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 17 July 2018 18:48:52 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

Content updated: Wed, 23 May 2018 05:01:08 EDT