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Reproductive and birth outcomes

Reproductive and birth outcomes track mother and infant health.
While most women experience no complications during pregnancy and delivery, not all women experience a safe and healthy pregnancy. Reproductive and birth outcomes can play a large role in the quality of life for mother and baby following delivery.
Observing trends in reproductive and birth outcomes helps to better inform the public about preventive actions.

To ensure we have a complete understanding of reproductive and birth outcomes in Utah, Utah Tracking follows a number of measures, including:
  • Birth rates
  • Fertility
  • Low birth weight and very low birth weight
  • Mortality (fetal, infant, neonatal, and post neonatal)
  • Prematurity (preterm and very preterm birth)
  • Sex ratio at birth
Birth rates
Knowing the birth rate is critical to understanding population growth and change. In 2019, the birth rate was 14.6 births per 1,000 residents in Utah.

The general fertility rate is a more precise measure of tracking birth rate patterns than the crude birth rate and is a more sensitive indicator to study population growth and change. In 2018, the fertility rate was 68.4 live births per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in Utah.

Low birth weight and very low birth weight
Low and very low birth weight babies weigh less than 2,500 grams (about 5 lbs. 8 ozs.) and 1,500 grams (about 3 lbs. 4 ozs.) at birth, respectively. In 2018, about 7% or 47,211 of live births were babies with low birth weight. The percentage of very low birth weight infants is measured on a 4-year timescale and has remained consistent at about 0.78%.

Fetal, neonatal, postneonatal, and infant mortality rates measure the rate of death at specific time periods during and after pregnancy.
  • Fetal mortality refers to deaths occurring at 20 weeks of pregnancy or more.
  • Neonatal mortality refers to death before 28 days of life.
  • Postneonatal mortality refers to infant death between the ages of 28 days and 1 year.
  • Infant mortality refers to all infant death before one year of age. In 2019, the infant mortality rate was 5.3 deaths per 1,000 live births in Utah.

Prematurity (preterm and very preterm birth)
Preterm births (i.e., births before 37 weeks gestation) is the leading cause of perinatal death in otherwise healthy newborns and is a leading cause of long-term neurological disabilities in children. It is important to remember every birth is different and many preterm babies do not have any serious health complications. In 2019, the percentage of preterm infants was 9.7% in Utah.

Sex ratio at birth
Sex ratio is the number of male babies born compared with the number of female babies born. In 2018, the sex ratio at birth was 1.04 or 104 males to 100 females in Utah.
The following factors can increase the risk of poor reproductive health and birth outcomes:
  • Parent age
  • Genetic predisposition
  • History of poor reproductive health and birth outcomes
  • Access to quality, consistent health care
  • Access to nutritious foods, especially those rich in folic acid and low in mercury
  • Drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and using other drugs
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, blood clotting disorders, and obesity
  • Exposure to environmental pollutants and toxins
  • Social and economic factors like domestic violence, stress, lack of social support, and marital status
If you are planning for pregnancy, talk to your doctor about preconception health care.
When you meet with your doctor, be sure to talk about medical conditions you have, lifestyle and behaviors, vaccines, and any medications you take. Your doctor will walk you through steps you can take before pregnancy to prevent certain birth defects.

In general, women who are or are trying to get pregnant should:
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke
  • Avoid alcohol consumption
  • Not use marijuana and other drugs
  • Stay inside when air quality is bad
  • Avoid seafood consumption and other sources of mercury
  • Avoid overheating activities such as getting in a hot tub
  • Treat fevers quickly

Safe indoor environments are also important and steps should be taken to:
  • Avoid biocides (pesticides, rodenticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc.).
  • Test for lead in your home and any lead sources removed by a professional.
  • Have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.

Program websites


Total fertility rate per 1,000 women of reproductive age, by year

General fertility rates

Low birth weight: less than 2,500 grams at birth (approximately 5 lbs. 8 ozs.)
Very low birth weight: less than 1,500 grams at birth (approximately 3 lbs. 4 ozs.)

Low birth weight

Very low birth weight

Fetal mortality

Infant mortality

Neonatal and post-neonatal mortality

Preterm birth (less than 37 weeks gestation)

  • Percent of preterm births, by year: Statewide and by county
  • Percentage of live births that are preterm:

Very preterm birth (less than 32 weeks gestation)

Male to female sex ratio at birth, by year

Utah Tracking receives reproductive and birth outcome data from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services Office of Vital Records and Statistics.

View complete metadata.
The links listed below redirect you to health assessments that have been conducted in Utah that are relevant to reproductive and birth outcomes. The Utah Department of Health and Human Services Utah APPLETREE program evaluates and responds to environmental public health issues in Utah. For more information, please visit the Utah APPLETREE website.

The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 26 May 2024 0:27:09 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 30 Mar 2023 16:19:11 MDT