DefinitionPercentage of live births to women who had completed high school or higher.
NumeratorNumber of live-born infants born to women who had completed high school or higher.
DenominatorTotal number of live-born infants.
Data Interpretation IssuesBirth records are filed electronically by hospitals. Medical records staff use standard mother and facility worksheets and medical charts to complete the birth registration. Hospital training is provided by the Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS) and is based on the Vital Statistics Act and Regulations, BVRHS documentation, and handbooks produced by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The electronic birth registration system has online edits and records are reviewed by BVRHS. Additionally, NCHS provides feedback to BVRHS on data quality. The state also provides feedback to the hospitals to improve data quality and contacts the hospital staff for clarification of missing, inconsistent or incorrect entries.
Beginning with 2008 births, New Mexico implemented the 2003 standard birth certificate. As a result of changes to question wording and format, some information is not comparable between the 1989 and 2003 birth certificate revisions. This information includes educational attainment, month and trimester prenatal care began, and tobacco use during pregnancy (and, for New Mexico, calculated gestation). In addition, initially, the transition to new questions may have resulted in more incomplete information. For education and prenatal care, differences between years prior to 2008 and births in 2008 and later years are largely related to changes in reporting rather than changes in educational attainment or prenatal care utilization.
Why Is This Important?A mother's education level affects decisions directly influencing her and her children's health. Worldwide, higher maternal education is linked to decreases in low birth weight, infant mortality, and maternal mortality. Level of education is related to children's physical health and academic outcomes, both as children and adults. Maternal education is associated with children's nutritional status and potential obesity. Children of mothers with a high school diploma or less have a higher likelihood of adolescent obesity. Higher education levels are associated with maternal reproductive decisions including contraceptive use, having fewer children, and a later age of marriage.
Healthy People Objective: FP-8, Reduce pregnancy rates among adolescent femalesU.S. Target: Not applicable, see subobjectives in this category
Other ObjectivesNew Mexico Early Learning Indicator