11.7%

— The preterm birth rate in the U.S. in 2011, the lowest in a decade.

Preterm births, which include babies born before 37 weeks, have been dropping for five years, but the rate is still higher than the March of Dimes’ goal of 9.6%. Only four states met that target, although 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico all showed improvements in addressing premature births. Preterm babies are at higher risk of health problems, including jaundice and breathing abnormalities, and lowering preterm birth rates could save up to $3 billion in health care and economic costs. From the March of Dimes

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