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Birth weight has been universally acknowledged as a prime indicator of prenatal survival and health outcomes. This study set out to discover the incidence of low birth weight babies (LBW) in Thi-Qar city, and to examine the factors which play a part the LBW phenomenon. This cross-sectional study focussed on a general hospital in Thi-Qar city, Iraq, and was based on a random sample of 777 newborn infants, who had no congenital malformations and survived birth. Twins were excluded from the study. The findings revealed that 19 per cent of these babies had low birth weight, and three main factors were highlighted for placing a mother at risk of having a LBW baby. These were: the educational level of the mother; maternal chronic hypertension; and a history of low birth weight babies - (P= 0.01, <0.01, <0.01) respectively. These results underscore the link between low birth weight babies and socio-economic status, and emphasise the importance of tackling this global public health issue.