Scottish Cities

Low birth weight, Scottish cities

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There was a slight reduction in the level of low birth weight births across Scotland, from 5.8% (2000/01-2002/03) to 5.1% between 2010/11 and 2014/15, before the rate increased again to 5.5% (2016/17-2018/19).

Glasgow's rate of low birth weight decreased from 7.7% in 2004/05-2006/07 to 6% in 2016/17-2018/19. For the most of the last 8 years Dundee has had the highest rate of low birth weight births of Scottish cities.


Scottish Morbidity Records for maternities (SMR02) have been used here to calculate the proportion of babies born with low birth weights (<2500g). The data have been aggregated into rolling groups of three fiscal years to produce annual averages. Only records relating to single deliveries have been used. 

Further explanation:
A birth weight of less than 2500g (approx 5lbs 8oz) is categorized as “low birth weight”. The figures presented are for singletons only, i.e. they exclude twins, triplets and other multiple births.

Low birth weight can be the end result of many different processes, including prematurity, poor nutrition, and exposure to toxins (such as nicotine) in the womb. Babies with low birth weight are more likely in adult life to have high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and non-insulin dependent diabetes.

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