While the indicators presented in the previous sections are representative of the U.S. population as a whole, the following section presents data at the State level. Geographic differences in health status and health care utilization play an important role in tailoring health programs and interventions to specific populations. Included are data on infant, neonatal, and perinatal mortality, low birth weight, preterm birth, health care financing, Medicaid enrollment and expenditures, and CHIP enrollment.
The following pages reveal important disparities in these measures across States. For instance, the proportion of infants born low birth weight (less than 2,500 grams, or 5 pounds 8 ounces) was highest in Mississippi, followed by Louisiana and several other southern States. Births to unmarried women tended to be highest in these States as well.
All of the issues presented here have geographic program and policy implications. State and local leaders can use this information to better serve their maternal and child populations in need.