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Health Indicator Report of Birth Mothers' Educational Attainment: High School Degree or Higher

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.

The Percentage of Live Births to Women Who Had Completed a High School Degree or Higher by County, New Mexico, 2015-2017


Includes New Mexico resident births. Unknown and missing responses have been excluded from the denominator.   (**) Data suppressed due to small numbers.

Data Sources

  • Birth Certificate Data, Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), New Mexico Department of Health.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC WONDER Online Database (

Data Interpretation Issues

Birth 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.


Percentage of live births to women who had completed high school or higher.


Number of live-born infants born to women who had completed high school or higher.


Total number of live-born infants.

Healthy People Objective: FP-8, Reduce pregnancy rates among adolescent females

U.S. Target: Not applicable, see subobjectives in this category

Other Objectives

New Mexico Early Learning Indicator
Page Content Updated On 01/31/2019, Published on 01/31/2019
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sun, 24 October 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Thu, 31 Jan 2019 17:51:06 MST