Reduce preterm births — MICH‑07 Data Methodology and Measurement

About the National Data


Baseline: 10.0 percent of live births were preterm in 2018

Target: 9.4 percent

Number of infants born before 37 completed weeks of gestation.
Number of live births.
Target-setting method
Target-setting method details
Linear trend fitted using weighted least squares and a projection at the 75 percent prediction interval.
Target-setting method justification
Trend data were evaluated for this objective. Using historical data points, a trend line was fitted using weighted least squares, and the trend was projected into the next decade. This method was used because three or more comparable data points were available, the projected value was within the range of possible values, and a projection at the 75 percent prediction interval was selected because, despite a downward trend in the 11 years of data used, 2014 to 2017 exhibited a flat or slightly upward trend.


Methodology notes

Data for this objective are based on the 2003 U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth item "Obstetric estimate of gestation." The obstetric estimate of gestation is defined as "the best obstetric estimate of the infant's gestation in completed weeks based on the birth attendant's final estimate of gestation".

The total preterm birth rate is calculated as the number of births delivered at less than 37 completed weeks of gestation per 100 total births, based on the obstetric estimate of gestation.


Comparable HP2020 objective
Retained, which includes core objectives that are continuing from Healthy People 2020 with no change in measurement.


Additional resources about the objective

Martin JA, Osterman MJK, Kirmeyer SE, Gregory ECW. Measuring gestational age in vital statistics data: Transitioning to the obstetric estimate. National vital statistics reports; vol 64 no 5. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2015.

1. Because Healthy People 2030 objectives have a desired direction (e.g., increase or decrease), the confidence level of a one-sided prediction interval can be used as an indication of how likely a target will be to achieve based on the historical data and fitted trend.