Ready by 21 Dashboard

Outcome: Physically Healthy and Safe

Babies Born With Birth Defects

As of 2007, % of babies born with birth defects remains at 7.8%.

Significance of Indicator: Birth defects are associated with poor child outcomes, ranging from health and learning problems to death. Although many birth defects are due to unknown causes, some can be prevented with adequate maternal care, beginning with preconception and continuing through pregnancy.

How we are doing on this Indicator: From 2002 to 2007, the percentage of babies born at a low birth weight has increased by nearly 1%. The most recent data for this indicator is from 2007, with low birth weight remaining at 7.8% from 2005.

what the data tell us

Definition: The annual number of children in Travis County with any monitored birth defects.

Data Source: Texas Department of State Health Services, 2006

The story behind the data

There are various factors that can contribute to low birth weight, including inadequate prenatal care. In 2006, nearly 40% of all Travis County mothers began prenatal care after the first trimester or received no prenatal care. A lack of or delayed prenatal care was more prevalent for Hispanic mothers (54.3% of all Hispanic mothers) and African American mothers (43.6% of all African American mothers). Rates of uninsured in Travis County are lower than the state, but still well above the national rate, with an estimated 22% of the population lacking health insurance. (Source: Travis County Health and Human Services: 2009 Community Impact Report)

Local efforts to improve the indicator

A closer look at the data

Click any of the section titles below to view related graph and information.

Births to Women who Received Late or No Prenatal Care

In Travis County, 40% of women in 2006 received late or no prenatal care.

Definition: The percent of births to women who received no prenatal care, or care after the first trimester.

Data Source: Bureau of Vital Statistics,Texas Department of State Health Services, 2005-2006

Data Considerations: Texas introduced a new birth certificate in 2005, changing the categorization of the inadequate prenatal care data. Now, inadequate prenatal care is defined as receiving no prenatal care or only receiving prenatal care after the first trimester. Data from 2005 or later cannot be compared to earlier prenatal care data.