Low-Birth-Weight Rates by Race/Ethnicity and Mother's Education Level, 2006

Mothers with higher levels of education are less likely than others to have low-birth-weight babies.

Figure 1.19a: Low-Birth-Weight Rates Among Babies Born to Mothers Ages 20 and Older, by Race/Ethnicity and Mother’s Education Level, 2006

Fig 1.19a: Low-Birth-Weight Rates by Race/Ethnicity and Mother's Ed Level, 2006

Notes & Sources 

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, 2009, Table 12.

  • Overall, mothers with only a high school education are 31% more likely than mothers with a bachelor’s degree or higher (8.9% vs. 6.8%) to give birth to babies weighing less than 5.5 pounds.
  • Racial/ethnic differences in the prevalence of low birth weight are greater than differences by educational attainment, but among black mothers and among white mothers, the percentage of babies with low birth weights declines markedly as education levels increase. This pattern is not apparent for Asian and Hispanic mothers.