Massachusetts Birth Outcomes Data

Find data on birth outcomes in Massachusetts. Information is obtained from birth and death certificates received by the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics.

About the Data

Birth certificate data can help monitor trends among infants being born, including birth weight, maternal age (including teen births), maternal risk factors, method of delivery, and adequacy of prenatal care, among other birth characteristics. Linked death certificate data provides insight into the causes of infant deaths. This dataset provides statewide data to be used for medical research and public health programs. Examining birth characteristics and maternal risk factors by race can help to uncover racial disparities in infant health.

Image that shows the various forms of oppression that impact the various types of social determinants of health, that then impact health outcomes.

As you look at data on this webpage, you may see differences among population groups. The differences are especially noticeable between white people and people of color.

These differences exist because of structural racism. These differences are NOT because of an individual’s choices, behaviors, or identity.

Systems of oppression, such as racism, cause harm to everyone. They also influence the social determinants of health (SDoH), which impact health outcomes. See Figure 1.

It is important to keep these notes in mind when looking at the data and using it to inform public health efforts.

If you decide to share these data, remember to use racial equity context and framing. The DPH Racial Equity Data Road Map is one resource that can help.

About Birth and Death Data

Birth data are collected from individual birth certificates occurring in Massachusetts or for Massachusetts residents who were born in other U.S. states. Death data are collected from individual death certificates occurring in Massachusetts or for Massachusetts residents who died in other U.S. states. Data presented here are for infants whose mothers were Massachusetts residents at the time of birth.
 
Demographic information about infants is most often provided at the time of birth by parents while medical information is gathered from hospitals. Demographic information about decedents is most often provided by family members, while cause of death information is provided by medical certifiers. This includes physicians, medical examiners, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. 

Caveats on Linked Infant-Deaths can be found here.

Continue Exploring PHIT Data

Additional Resources

Contact   for Massachusetts Birth Outcomes Data

Online

Population Health Information Tool Information Email Population Health Information Tool (PHIT) at DPH.PHIT@mass.gov

Address

250 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02108

As a publicly available tool, we highly encourage the use of data included in PHIT. Below is an example of how you can cite this webpage to reference any information you find helpful.

[Insert Title of Webpage Here] (n.d.). Population Health Information Tool, Massachusetts Department of Public Health. [Insert URL]

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