Children And Youth
Preterm Births


Preterm Births

What does this measure?

The percentage of babies born 4 weeks before the mother's due date, out of all live births. This means the gestational age of the baby is less than 36 weeks.

Why is this important?

Preterm babies have a higher prevalence of four major disabilities (cerebral palsy, mental retardation, vision impairment and hearing loss), all of which require special education services. In addition, preterm babies are at greater risk for lower cognitive scores and behavioral problems. Care for the babies is expensive, averaging nearly $300,000 in the first year. And premature births are to some extent preventable, as they are often associated with the mother's smoking, alcohol or drug use, depression or in cases in which mothers are abused.

How is our county doing?

In 2017, 10% of Essex County births were preterm, equal to the state rate and lower than the national rate of 12%. Rates have remained steady in Essex County since 2000, when the rate was 9%, with the exception of its peak of 13% in 2007. Since 2000, the number of premature babies born annually in the county has ranged from about 800 to nearly 1,200.

How do we compare to other counties?

In 2017, the preterm birth rate in Essex County was very similar to Middlesex, MA (9%) and below Lake, IL and Westchester, NY (both at 12%) Since 2008, the preterm birth rate in Essex County has been declining similar to its comparison counties.

Notes about the data

The proportion is calculated out of all live births, except those for which gestational age is unknown.

Preterm Births
200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Essex County, MA9%10%11%11%12%12%12%13%11%10%10%9%10%11%10%10%10%10%
Middlesex County, MA9%10%10%11%11%11%11%11%11%11%11%10%10%10%9%9%9%9%
Lake County, IL11%11%11%11%12%12%12%12%12%11%11%11%11%11%11%11%11%12%
Westchester County, NY12%11%12%12%11%12%12%13%13%13%13%11%11%11%12%11%11%12%
Massachusetts10%10%11%11%11%11%11%11%11%11%11%10%10%10%10%10%10%10%
United States12%12%12%12%12%13%13%13%12%12%12%12%12%11%11%11%11%12%

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention




Number of Preterm Births
200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Essex County, MA8959241,0291,0571,0891,0471,0771,164980900799806846921828841861874
Middlesex County, MA1,7801,8521,9201,9491,9591,8981,9741,9841,9811,9541,9001,7051,7521,7101,5601,5321,5441,580
Lake County, IL1,1291,2041,1541,1761,2171,1611,1741,2171,112983948925858893888871878877
Westchester County, NY1,4991,4111,5331,5361,4321,4801,4831,5661,5551,4311,4421,2171,1371,1981,2621,2181,1511,205
Massachusetts8,1408,3668,5018,5878,8298,6978,7638,7348,2948,0997,7867,5647,3277,1587,0336,8996,9417,164
United States467,201476,250480,812499,008508,356522,913542,893546,602523,033502,306478,790463,163455,918447,361451,084448,784449,460448,281

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention




INDICATORS TREND | ESSEX COUNTY
Bachelor's Degree or Higher by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Preterm Births Increasing
Infant Mortality Rate Maintaining
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Decreasing
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Child Abuse and Neglect Increasing
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Youth Arrests Decreasing
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Employment Maintaining
Tourism Spending Increasing
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Charitable Contributions Maintaining
Protected Land Not Applicable
Days with Good Air Quality Increasing
Beach Contamination Decreasing
Daily Water Use per Resident Decreasing
Crimes Against People Increasing
Crimes Against Property Increasing
Drug-Related Arrests Maintaining
Reports of Domestic Violence Increasing
Incarceration Rates Decreasing
Recidivism Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Traffic Injuries and Fatalities Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Increasing
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
People 65 or Older Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Increasing
Households by Type Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Gender Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Change in Total Jobs Increasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary Increasing
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Median Earnings by Occupation by Gender Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving County for Work Not Applicable
Employer Size Not Applicable
Self-Employment Revenue Decreasing
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Prekindergarten Participation Not Applicable
Female Enrollment in School Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Increasing
Per-Student Spending Increasing
Bullying Maintaining
Student Performance on Grade 3 Reading Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 10 English Language Arts Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Income in Relation to Poverty Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Decreasing
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage Rate by Household Type Not Applicable
Households Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Households Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Earned Income Tax Credit Participation Maintaining
Economically Disadvantaged Students Increasing
Median Home Value Increasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Increasing
Housing Affordability for Renters Increasing
Homeownership Rates Maintaining
Homeownership Rates by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeless Persons Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Medical Care Expenses Increasing
Prevalence of Children with Asthma Maintaining
Prevalence of Overweight Children Decreasing
Prevalence of Overweight Adults Not Applicable
Diabetes Incidence Decreasing
Chronic Disease Among Older Adults Increasing
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Cancer Mortality Rate Decreasing
Heart Disease Mortality Rate Decreasing
Mortality Rate Decreasing
People who Smoke Not Applicable
Use of Illegal Drugs Not Applicable
Youth Use of Illegal Drugs Not Applicable
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Not Applicable
Drug Overdose Mortality Rate Increasing
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Suicide Rate Maintaining