Preterm Birth Rates and Socioeconomic Status

Finger Lakes Region, 2012-2014

Preterm birth rates are much higher for mothers in areas with low socioeconomic status.  Across the Finger Lakes region in ZIP codes with the lowest socioeconomic status (SES 1), the preterm birth rate is nearly 13%, compared to rates between 9-10% elsewhere in the region. This disparity is consistent with what is known about the risk factors for preterm birth which include the mother’s mental and physical health, access to early and regular prenatal care, unplanned pregnancy, teen pregnancy, and use of cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. All of these factors are more prevalent among low-income population.

This data visualization is part of Overloaded: The Heavy Toll of Poverty on Our Region's Health Report.

Methodology note: The SES index ranking was developed by Common Ground Health and calculated using a variety of socioeconomic indicators from the American Community Survey including average income, poverty rates, education levels, housing value, and homeownership. Each ZIP code is assigned a socioeconomic (SES) index ranking from 1 to 5. The lower SES ZIP codes tend to have lower average income, higher poverty rates, lower prevalence of college degrees, etc.

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