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While the indicators presented in the previous sections of this book are representative of the U.S. as a whole, the next section presents State-level health and health care indicators; specifically, data on infant, neonatal, and perinatal mortality, low birth weight, early prenatal care, births to women under 18, health care financing for children, Medicaid enrollment and expenditures, and CHIP enrollment.

This section reveals stark differences across States. Women living in the District of Columbia and Delaware, and the southern States of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina were more likely to give birth to low birth weight babies (less than 2,500 grams or 5 pounds 8 ounces) than women in other regions of the country. These States, in addition to New Mexico and Texas, were among those with the highest rates of births to women under 18 years of age.

Poverty in the U.S. has risen over the past 3 years. Poverty affects living conditions and access to health care and nutrition, all of which contribute to health status. Title XIX of the Social Security Act (Medicaid) and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) were designed to assure that children living in low-income families have access to insurance coverage and receive adequate health care services. In 2002, New Mexico and the District of Columbia had the greatest proportion of children with Medicaid/CHIP coverage (over 40 percent), followed closely by Vermont (39.9 percent), while Maryland and Nevada had the smallest proportion (12.5 percent). Wisconsin had the lowest proportion of uninsured (4.9 percent) while Texas led the nation with the highest proportion of uninsured children (23.0 percent).

This section contains information on: