Births and deaths : preliminary data for 1998
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Births and deaths : preliminary data for 1998

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      This report presents preliminary data for 1998 on births and deaths in the United States. 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 life expectancy, 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 85-percent sample of deaths in the United States for 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 in 1998. Comparisons are made with 1997 final data.

      RESULTS: The birth rate for teenagers continued to decline, dropping another 2 percent for 1997-98. The rate for young teens aged 15-17 years fell 5 percent, and the rate for teens aged 18-19 years declined 2 percent. Since 1991 rates have fallen 21 percent for teens aged 15-17 years and 13 percent for teens aged 18-19 years. Birth rates for women aged 20-29 years rose slightly. Among women in their thirties, birth rates rose 3 to 4 percent to the highest levels observed in three decades. The birth rate for women aged 40-44 years was the highest level reported since 1970. The birth rate for unmarried women was 44.3 per 1,000, 1 percent higher than 1997, but below the peak level reported for 1994 (46.9). The rate of prenatal care utilization continued to improve. The total cesarean rate increased to 21.2 percent. The low birthweight rate rose from 7.5 to 7.6 percent. In 1998 the age-adjusted death rate reached a record low, 2 percent below the rate for 1997. Human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV infection) moved off the list of the 15 leading causes of death for the first time since 1987. Declines in age-adjusted rates occurred for Homicide and legal intervention (homicide) (14 percent) and Atherosclerosis (10 percent), while rates for Septicemia and Pneumonia and influenza increased 5 percent. Mortality also decreased for drug-induced deaths, deaths from injury by firearms, and alcohol-induced deaths. The infant mortality rate was unchanged. Life expectancy reached a record high of 76.7 in 1998.

      Suggested citation: Martin JA, Smith BL, Mathews TJ, Ventura SJ. Births and deaths: Preliminary data for 1998. National vital statistics reports; vol 47 no. 25. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics. 1999.

      PMID: 10641521

      9-0731 (10/99)


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