New county-by-county maps constructed by an ICHP research team reveal hotspots for preterm births in Florida, the leading contributor of death in infants. According to ICHP researcher Chris Delcher, PhD, 9.9 percent of children in Florida are born before 37 weeks, putting then at increased risk for developmental delays, disability and death. The counties with the highest percentages of preterm births from 2011 to 2014 included two counties in the Apalachicola area, Franklin and Jefferson, at approximately 14 percent. Check out the map of the entire state below for a more in-depth view.
The Family Data Center (FDC) examined hospital records and birth certificates for more than one million births in Florida between 2010 and 2014 to geographically depict the rates of newborns who require neonatal intensive care. On average, 9.5 percent of newborns required neonatal intensive care, for a total of 97,890 babies. This work is done under contract with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. Of the 23 Florida counties with a higher-than-average percentage of infants who require neonatal intensive care, 16 counties are the in the North Florida region.