Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content

Health Indicator Report of Very Low Birth Weight Among Singleton Births

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.


Confidence limits are not available for the US data.

Data Sources

  • Birth Certificate Database, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, New Jersey Department of Health
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Natality public-use data. CDC WONDER On-line Database accessed at []

Data Interpretation Issues

Infants from multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.), are more likely to be of low birth weight. To separate the effect of multiple birth on birth weight from other factors, this indicator for very low birth weight focuses on singleton births only.


Percent of live-born singleton infants born with a birth weight of less than 1,500 grams (about 3 lbs, 5 oz)


Number of live-born singleton infants with a birth weight of less than 1,500 grams born to resident mothers


Number of live-born singleton infants born to resident mothers

How Are We Doing?

In New Jersey, the average birth weight among singletons is 3,303 grams or 7 lbs, 5 oz. The percentage of singleton infants with very low birth weight (VLBW) has remained near 1.1% for at least a decade. The rate among Black mothers is 2-4 times the rate among other racial/ethnic groups. Singleton VLBW rates are lowest among mothers ages 25-34 years. VLBW rates among singletons for New Jersey's counties range from 0.5% to 1.6%.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The singleton very low birth weight rate among New Jersey residents is the same as that of the nation as a whole.

What Is Being Done?

The [ Division of Family Health Services] in the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services administers programs to enhance the health, safety and well-being of families and communities in New Jersey. Several programs are aimed at improving children's health, including reducing infant mortality.
Page Content Updated On 11/08/2017, Published on 11/08/2017
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 Sun, 17 December 2017 18:23:22 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

Content updated: Wed, 15 Nov 2017 07:52:42 EST