News Release
December 14, 2012

CDPH Releases Comprehensive Report on Births in Chicago

Teen birth rates drop; Rates of women receiving prenatal care improve


Births In Chicago, 1999-2009 reportCONTACT:

Quenjana Adams


CHICAGO - Today, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) released 'Births in Chicago, 1999-2009,' a new report providing comprehensive data related to births in the city during an 11-year period. Data presented in the report include number of births, fertility rates, age and health of mothers and infant birth weight. The data are presented by age, race-ethnicity, and Chicago community area. Among the findings:

  • Chicago's teen birth rate decreased 33% during the 11-year period. Though rates remain significantly higher than the national average, Chicago’s decrease is outpacing the 21% nationwide decrease.
  • Women seeking prenatal care during the first trimester increased by 10 percentage points to a new high of 84.3%.
  • The percentage of babies delivered at low birth weight decreased to 9.7%.
  • The number of births to Chicago women who reported smoking while pregnant was cut by more than half to 3.8% in 2009.
  • Birth rates for women 35-44 years of age increased 40% during the period; increases were most pronounced among Non-Hispanic Asian and Non-Hispanic white women. 

"Ensuring the health and well-being of our mothers and infants is critical to making Chicago the healthiest city in the nation," said Dr. Bechara Choucair, CDPH Commissioner. "Through our Healthy Chicago initiative, we have prioritized bringing down the number of infants born at a low birth weight and teen births. Though we still have more work to do, Chicago is moving in the right direction."

“This report provides local organizations and health care professionals with information that we hope will help spur new research, policy development and advocacy to improve perinatal health in Chicago,” according to CDPH Epidemiologist Kirsti Bocskay, Ph.D, MPH.

To further decrease teen pregnancy rates, CDPH is working with the Chicago Public Schools to pilot a new condom availability program, implement comprehensive sex education at all grade levels, establish a data repository to track adolescent health and launch a city-wide public awareness campaign. This initiative and others will help meet Healthy Chicago’s goals to significantly reduce the birth rate among Chicago teens by 2020.

Download the Births in Chicago, 1999-2009 report here.