Facts & Figures - a quick look

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Globally preterm birth accounts for over 9.5% of all births.  This means that over 13 million babies are born too soon every year.


90% of Preemies survive

Thirty years ago less than 25% of the tiniest preemies were surviving, now almost 90% survive.  Learning about preterm birth can help increase awareness of the unique needs of preemies and their families.

Here you can find out about General Statistics and Preemie Outcomes. Make sure to have a look...

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Preterm SES statistics from the UK

The with survival rates and outcomes for preemies continually improving it is still important to identify the issues that come with being premature.

In general the incidence of preterm birth is increasing. Some countries have maintained a rate of preterm birth and others have continued to increase. The increase in the rate of premature birth can be attributed to several reasons ranging from IVF use to Socioecnomic status.

Incidence of premature birth by Socioeconomic Status

Where you come from and what you do can play a significant role in the outcomes of you birth. Socioeconomic Status as it is known can give us an insight into who is being affected by preterm birth and in what way.

Some researchers have reported substantial socioeconomic inequalities in the incidence of very preterm birth, particularly in countries with unequal access to health care, such as the United States, with nearly double the incidence in more deprived women compared with the least deprived. There have been substantial rises in the incidence of very preterm birth over the last 10 years, which have been attributed to increases in preterm birth in the lower socioeconomic brackets.

Below are socioeconomic status statistics from around the world. This list is always continuing to grow. So if you country is not listed let us know you are interested in seeing them for your country and we'll do our best to acquire the relevant information. 

Preterm SES statistics from United Kindom

Areas of high deprivation have high rates of neonatal and infant mortality Women from deprived areas have an increased risk of delivering a baby very preterm (< 32 weeks’ gestation)

Note: in the table below is described the incidence of very preterm birth.

Quintile of
Socioeconomic disadvantage
per 1000 births 18.1 16.0 13.1 11.7 9.5
{Smith, 2007}


Technical Reference List

Shingairai, A. F., Siobon, D. H., & Godfrey, B. W. (2004). Risk factors for prematurity at Harare Maternity Hospital, Zimbabwe. International Journal of Epidemiology, 33, 1194-1201.
Leung, T. N., Roach, V. J., & Lau, T. K. (1998). Incidence of preterm delivery in Hong Kong Chinese. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol, 38(2), 138-141.
Morken, N.-H., Kallen, K., Hagberg, H., & Jacobsson, B. (2005). Preterm birth in Sweden 1973-2001: rate, subgroups, and effect of changing patterns in multiple births, maternal age, and smoking. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand, 84(6), 558-565.
Singh, U., Singh, N., & Shikha, S. (2007). A prospective analysis of etiology and outcome of preterm labor. Thr Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India, 57(1), 48-52.



AlbertEinstein_iconOne of the greatest minds in history, Albert Einstein was born preterm.

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Preemie Help is also looking to provide a resource for any professionals that have contact with preterm babies and children in order to help them best understand the challenges that face a preemie. Get in contact to help us impact preemies.

Preemie, Premmie, or Prem?

Most babies spend between 38 and 42 weeks in their mother’s uterus. So, technically a preterm birth, preemie, premmie, or prem, is an infant who is born less than 37 completed gestational weeks. 

Read More: Defining Preterm birth



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