March of Dimes Releases National 2016 Premature Birth Report Card

Nation’s preterm birth rate worsens for the first time in 8 years, receives a “C”

A national report card by the March of Dimes, an organization that works to end premature birth, shows the increase in preterm birth rates across the United States.

The report card coincides with the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign’s mission to reduce premature births across the country.

“The 2016 March of Dimes Report Card demonstrates that there is an unfair burden of premature birth among specific racial and ethnic groups as well as geographic areas,” said Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. “The March of Dimes strives for a world where every baby has a fair chance, yet we see this is not the reality for many mothers and babies. Babies in this country have different chances of surviving and thriving simply based on the circumstances of their birth.”

The U.S. preterm birth rate increased from 9.57 to 9.63 in 2015, according to March of Dimes. The United States received an overall grade of a “C,” bringing an average preterm birth rate to a 9.6 percent, according to the premature birth report card. The report also breaks down the preterm birth rate by each state.


The states with the highest preterm birth rate include Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama: 12.3 percent, 13 percent, and 11.7 percent consecutively.

While the states with the lowest preterm birth rate includes Washington, Oregon, Vermont, and New Hampshire: 8.1 percent, 7.6 percent, 7.3 percent, and 7.9 percent consecutively.

The data for the Premature Birth Report Card is compiled from the National Center for Health Statistics birth rate files.

Dialing Down the Stats in New Mexico

With a strong presence in southern New Mexico, the March of Dimes has made great strides to reduce premature births here in the borderlands.

As a state average, New Mexico received a “C,” with a preterm birth rate of 9.6 percent, which mirrors the national average.

According to the March of Dimes, New Mexico received a “C” on this year’s report card. Last year, New Mexico received a “B” on the report card.

The Report Card grades the counties based on their 2014 preterm birth rates.

What the March of Dimes Is Doing to Eliminate Premature Birth

COMMUNITY – Help expecting mothers in our community have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.

ADVOCACY – Advocate for services and programs that help mothers get the care and services to improve their health and the health of their babies.

RESEARCH – Participate in research to identify serious problems that threaten babies and work on treating and preventing them.

EDUCATION- Provide families continuing education and resources to improve maternal and child health.

SUPPORT- Offer comfort and information to families with newborn in intensive care.

For more information, visit March of Dimes.