Births, marriages, divorces, and deaths : provisional data for 1998
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Births, marriages, divorces, and deaths : provisional data for 1998

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      Objectives—This report presents preliminary data on births and deaths in the United States from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) for the 12 months ending June 1998. U.S. data on births are shown by age, race, and Hispanic origin of mother. Natality data on marital status, prenatal care, cesarean delivery, and low birthweight are also presented. Mortality data presented include leading causes of death and infant mortality.

      Methods—Data in this report are based on more than a 99-percent sample of births and on more than an 89-percent sample of deaths in the United States for the 12 months ending June 1998. The records are weighted to independent control counts of births, infant deaths, and deaths 1 year and over received in State vital statistics offices from July 1997 to June 1998. Unless otherwise indicated, comparisons are made with final data for the 12-month period ending June 1997.

      Results—For the period July 1997–June 1998, the birth rate for teenagers dropped 4 percent to 51.5 births per 1,000 women aged 15–19 years, the lowest level since 1987. Birth rates for teenagers have been declining since 1991. Birth rates for women aged 20–29 years changed very little, whereas rates for women in their thirties and forties rose 2 to 4 percent. The birth rate for unmarried women declined slightly, but the number of births to unmarried women was up about 1 percent because of an increase in the number of unmarried women. The rate of prenatal care utilization continued to improve. The percent of births delivered by cesarean section rose from 20.7 percent to 20.9 percent as the result of a slight increase in the primary cesarean rate and a substantial decline in the rate of vaginal births after previous cesarean (VBAC). The overall low birthweight rate was unchanged at 7.5 percent.

      Age-adjusted death rates reached a record low, 2 percent below the rate for the previous 12-month period. The largest declines in estimated age-adjusted death rates among the leading causes of death were for Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (37 percent) and homicide (9 percent). Smaller declines were noted for most of the other leading causes of death, but no increases occurred. Mortality also decreased for firearm injuries and alcohol-induced deaths. The infant mortality rates for all races and white and black infants were about the same as the corresponding rates for the previous 12-month period.

      Suggested citation: Smith BL, Martin JA, Ventura SJ. Births and deaths: Preliminary data for July 1997–June 1998. National vital statistics reports; vol 47 no. 22. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics. 1999.

      PMID: 10410536

      9-0598 (7/99)


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