Low Birth Weight Infants

Indicator Description

  • A. Definition

    Percentage of low birth weight infants among newborn infants

  • B. How to measure

    Low birth weight infant = low birth weight infant (birth weight less than 2.5 kg)/whole birth ✕ 100

  • C. Features and Sources

    Category Sub-Category Sub-Subcategory Type of Indicator Reference Data Sources First year data available Periodicity
    Social Rights Right to Health Child and Maternal Health Objective/Result Statistics Korea Population Trend Survey 1980 1 year
  • D. Interpretation

    The birth rate of low weigh born infants is significant in that it is the first indicator of the improvement of maternal and child health and the subsequent growth of the newborn baby. As the average marriage age increases, the delay in the pregnancy and birth of women is regarded as the main cause of the increase in the proportion of underweight births. In the case of underweight babies, due to menstruation or premature birth, it is necessary to watch with caution, as the risk of illness is higher than that of a normal pregnancy. The number of underweight babies is declining, but it is noteworthy that the percentage of low birth weight babies is increasing among the total number of newborn babies. Low-birth-rate births seem to have receded up and down on the 25,000 line without any particular trend. In 2017, 22,022 people had been declining since 2015, but the percentage of total births is on the rise — from 5% in 2010 to 6.2% in 2017. This phenomenon is likely to continue in the future as the marriage age continues to increase. Hospitals and health authorities should be more committed to managing those children.

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