Children & Youth

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Source: Monroe County Department of Public Health

What does this measure?

The number of babies born with low birth weight (less than 2,500 grams or about 5.5 pounds) expressed as a percentage of all live births, reported by race/ethnicity in Monroe County.

Why is this important?

Low birth weight is a leading predictor of neonatal death. Low birth-weight infants are also more likely than normal birth-weight infants to experience long-term developmental and neurological disabilities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that maternal smoking is the cause of 20% to 30% of all low-weight births in the United States.

How is our region performing?

Among racial and ethnic groups in Monroe County, low birth weights were highest among African American babies, 15% in 2018. Between 2000 and 2018, the rate among Hispanic babies increased from 7% to 11% and remained steady among white babies at 6% and African American babies at 15%.

Why do these disparities exist?

Racial disparities in low birth weight of babies emerge from systems that perpetuate structural racism. Higher low birth weight rates among infants of color are directly tied to maternal access to prenatal care throughout pregnancy and quality of care. Research has shown that mothers of color are less likely to receive prenatal care in part because they tend to live in communities with fewer health care providers including neonatal services. While women of color from under-resourced communities gain access to health care via Medicaid, they are often underinsured. Discriminatory treatment by health care providers influences whether the health care needs of women of color are adequately addressed, putting mothers and their infants at higher risk of low birth weight. The overall health of expectant mothers of color and access to comprehensive health care including gynecological services before pregnancy also contributes to low birth weights. Racism experienced by expectant mothers of color in their everyday lives at work and in their neighborhoods (e.g. food insecurity, environmental toxins) places their infants at higher risk of low birth weight. Neighborhood quality including cleaniness, crime rates and community cohesion affect the well-being of expectant mothers and their children at birth. The physiological response to structural racism by mothers of color influences racial disparities in low birth weight rates.

Notes about the data

None.

Low Birth Weight Babies by Race/Ethnicity, Monroe County, 2018
Black or African AmericanLatino or HispanicWhite
Monroe15%11%6%
Monroe County Local Areas
Rochester17%11%7%

Source: Monroe County Department of Public Health
Notes: Percentage of babies born with a birthweight < 5.5 pounds.




Number of Low Birth Weight Babies by Race/Ethnicity, Monroe County, 2018
Black or African AmericanLatino or HispanicWhite
Monroe256104264
Monroe County Local Areas
Rochester2147552

Source: Monroe County Department of Public Health




Low Birth Weight Babies by Race/Ethnicity, Monroe County, 2000
Black or African AmericanLatino or HispanicWhite
Monroe15%7%6%

Source: Monroe County Department of Public Health
Notes: Percentage of babies born with a birthweight < 5.5 pounds.




Number of Low Birth Weight Babies by Race/Ethnicity, Monroe County, 2000
Black or African AmericanLatino or HispanicWhite
Monroe28054305

Source: Monroe County Department of Public Health







Worse than NYS by 10% or more
Up to 10% worse than NYS
Equal to or better than NYS


INDICATORS - Grouped by Topic REGIONAL VALUE YEAR NYS COMPARISON TREND | REGION
*No or multiple regional values for this indicator


Worse than NYS by 10% or more
Up to 10% worse than NYS
Equal to or better than NYS





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