WALES

Low birthweight babies

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • The proportion of babies born with a low birthweight is similar to a decade ago.
  • The proportion of babies with a low birthweight babies is highest among those babies registered solely by their mother (9½%) and lowest among couples who live together (6½%).
  • At 9% of all live births, the proportion of babies born with a low birthweight is highest in Merthyr Tydfil and Blaenau Gwent.
  • The proportion of babies who are of low birthweight in Wales is similar to the Great Britain averag

Definitions and data sources

The first graph shows the proportion of babies born each year who are defined as having a low birth weight, i.e. less than 2½ kilograms (5½ lbs).  The data is for live-births only (i.e. it excludes still-births).  The data source is ONS vital statistics.

The second graph shows how the proportion of babies who are of low birthweight varies according to the parents’ living status at the time of the registration of birth.  The data is based on a 100% count of live births.  The data source is ONS child mortality statistics (although the data is not publicly available).

The third graph and map show how the proportion of babies who are of low birthweight varies by local authority.  The data source is ONS vital statistics and, to improve its statistical reliability, the data is the average for the latest ten years.

The fourth graph shows how the proportion of babies who are of low birthweight in Wales compares with the rest of Great Britain.  The data sources are ONS vital statistics (for England and Wales) and ISD Scotland (for Scotland).  To improve its statistical reliability, the data is the average for the latest three years.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: limited.  The ideal would have been to present data broken down by social class but such data is not considered to be reliable for Wales.