Premature Birth Rate Climbing

According to the March of Dimes, the US is border-line failing when it comes to premature birth rates.

With a big fat D in the US report card, these are the percentages in red based on the nation’s 12.7% preterm birth rate.

In its report card, the March of Dimes notes that the national preterm birth rate is “more than 60% higher” than the federal government’s goal for 2010, and that the preterm birth rate rose “by more than 15% between 1995 and 2005.”

The grade of a D is only so high because we had one state, Vermont, who received a grade of a B which helped bring all the F’s up for a lovely D average.

What makes matters even worse if you are a fellow Delawarean…

Here’s how the states (plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico) rank in their preterm birth rates — from best to worst — and each state’s March of Dimes grade, along with its preterm birth rate percentage.

1. Vermont: 9% (grade: B)
2. Oregon: 10.2% (grade: C)
3. Connecticut: 10.4% (grade: C)
4. New Hampshire: 10.5% (grade: C)
5. Alaska and Washington state: 10.6% (grade: C)
6. California, Maine, and Minnesota: 10.7% (grade: C)
7. Massachusetts: 11.3% (grade: D)
8. Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wisconsin: 11.4% (grade: D)
9. North Dakota, South Dakota: 11.5% (grade: D)
10. Iowa: 11.8% (grade: D)
11. Pennsylvania: 11.9% (grade: D)
12. New York and Rhode Island: 12.1% (grade: D)
13. Hawaii, Kansas, and Nebraska: 12.2% (grade: D)
14. Colorado and Virginia: 12.3% (grade: D)
15. Michigan and New Jersey: 12.5% (grade: D)
16. Ohio: 13% (grade: D)
17. Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming: 13.1% (grade: D)
18. Arizona: 13.2% (grade: F)
19. Arkansas, Maryland, and Missouri: 13.3% (grade: F)
20. Indiana: 13.5% (grade: F)
21. Georgia and Texas: 13.6% (grade: F)
22. North Carolina: 13.7% (grade: F)
23. Florida: 13.8% (grade: F)
24. Nevada: 13.9% (grade: F)
25. Delaware: 14% (grade: F)
26. West Virginia: 14.4% (grade: F)
27. Tennessee: 14.7% (grade: F)
28. Kentucky: 15.2% (grade: F)
29. South Carolina: 15.6% (grade: F)
30. Washington, D.C.: 15.9% (grade: F)
31. Louisiana: 16.5% (grade: F)
32. Alabama: 16.7% (grade: F)
33. Mississippi: 18.8% (grade: F)
34. Puerto Rico: 19.7% (grade: F)