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Health Indicator Report of Very Low Birth Weight

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.

Very Low Birth Weight by County of Residence, New Jersey, 2014-2016


No confidence limits are available for US data.

Data Source

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


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


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


Number of live-born infants born to resident mothers

Healthy People Objective: Very low birth weight (VLBW)

U.S. Target: 1.4 percent
State Target: 1.4 percent

Other Objectives

'''Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective MCH-2b''': Reduce very low birth weight (VLBW) to 1.4% among the total and Hispanic populations, 1.2% among Whites, 2.9% among Blacks, and 1.0% among Asians.

How Are We Doing?

In New Jersey, the average birth weight is 3,260 grams or 7 lbs 3 oz. The very low birth weight rate among New Jersey births has been around 1.5% since the 1990s. Very low birth weight (VLBW) rates vary widely across the state and by several maternal and infant characteristics. The rate among Black mothers is 2-3 times the rate among other racial/ethnic groups. VLBW rates are highest among teen mothers and mothers over 35 years old. Three-quarters of quadruplets and more than 40% of triplets are of VLBW while 9% of twins and about 1% of singletons have VLBW. Nearly all infants born before the third trimester of pregnancy (before 28 weeks) are of VLBW while virtually no full term infants are. VLBW rates for New Jersey's counties range from 0.8% to 2.0%.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The very low birth weight rate among New Jersey mothers 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 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 05/16/2018, Published on 05/16/2018
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 Mon, 23 July 2018 0:20:11 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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