Facts of life and death
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      The statistics in this report have been assembled by the National Center for Health Statistics to answer questions frequently asked about vital and health statistics for the United States. Information on births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and life expectancy is based on vital data gathered by the Center’s Division of VM Statistics from the individual States, which are responsible for the registration of these events. With one exception, the data on health characteristics of the U.S. population are based upon surveys conducted by the Center’s Division of Health Interview Statistics and Division of Health Examination Statistics. The exception is reported cases of communicable diseases, which are compiled by the Center for Disease Control, Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia. Data on health personnel are gathered by the Center’s Division of Health Resources Utilization Statistics primarily from professional associations. Vital statistics shown in this report include only events occurring within a specified area. Beginning with 1933, all data cover events occurring within the entire conterminous (48) United States. Beginning with 1959, the figures include AIaska, and starting with 1960, they include Hawaii. For the years prior to 1933, data for marriages, divorces, and births, when these are shown as having been adjusted for underregistration, are for the-entire United States. Data for registered births and deaths prior to 1933 are for expanding groups of registration States. Beginning with 1970, data exclude births and deaths of nonresidents of the United States. In that year there were 6,414 births to nonresidents and 1,935 deaths of nonresidents. Fetal deaths are excluded from birth and death statistics. Fetal death figures for 1969-76 include only fetal deaths for which the stated or presumed period of gestation was 20 weeks or more. For earlier years gestational age not stated is included. Numbers shown as estimated in certain vitaI statistics tables are based on a sample of incomplete data. Numbers shown as provisional are based on figures reported on a monthly basis and are subject to revision in final tabulations. Rates are based on population figures from the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Birth and divorce-rates for 1941-46 are based on population including the Armed Forces abroad; other rates are based on total population residing in the area. Beginning with 1940 for years ending in a zero, rates are based on the enumerated population as indicated in table 1. For all other years, rates are based on estimated midyear population.
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