Premature Births

In honor of Prematurity Awareness Month and the 4th World Prematurity Day on Nov. 17, we present some new figures on premature births.


The percentage of preterm births in Wisconsin last year. Late preterm births (34 to 36 weeks) were at 7.4 percent. Broken down by race and ethnicity, 10.8 percent of Hispanic births were preterm; 9.8 percent for whites; 15.7 percent for blacks; 11.3 percent for Native Americans; and 9.7 percent for Asians.


The percentage of preterm births in the nation last year, the lowest in 17 years. The March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign is focused on reducing that percentage to 9.6 or less by 2020. It also happens to represent the percentage of uninsured women in Wisconsin; health care before, during and after pregnancy can help identify and manage conditions that contribute to premature birth.


The percentage of women who smoke tobacco in Wisconsin. Studies link tobacco smoking to preterm births.

15 million

The number of babies born pre-term around the world every year, which amounts to 1 in 10. More than 1 million of them die before their first birthday due to complications from the premature birth.

Source: The March of Dimes