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Highlights of a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)

Birth Characteristics for Asian or Pacific Islander Subgroups, 1992


Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 43, No. 10, Supplement 2

For Release May 11, 1995

A new report by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) provides first-time information on pregnancy and birth characteristics among Vietnamese, Asian Indian, Korean, Samoan, and Guamanian women in the U.S. The study covers seven States (California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Washington), which account for 72 percent of all Asian or Pacific Islander births in 1992.


Data highlights

  • Less than 2 percent of Asian Indian and Korean births were to teenagers, compared with 12 percent of all races.
  • Only 8 percent of Asian Indian births and less than 5 percent of Korean births were to unmarried women compared with 30 percent of all races.
  • Most Vietnamese, Asian Indian, and Korean mothers who gave birth in 1992 were born outside the United States. These mothers tended to be older and were more likely to be married than U.S.-born mothers.
  • The percent of cesarean deliveries was lower for Vietnamese and Samoan mothers (just under 17 percent each) than for most other Asian or Pacific Islanders, compared with 23 percent for all races.
  • Among Asian or Pacific Islanders, Korean and Samoan mothers had the lowest percent of low birthweight babies (4.2 and 4.5 percent), while Asian Indian mothers had the highest (9.6 percent). For all races, the proportion was 6.7 percent.
  • More than three out of four Asian Indian, Korean, and Vietnamese mothers received prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy compared with two out of three Guamanian mothers and less than one-half of all Samoan others.


For more information, please contact NCHS, Office of Public Affairs (301) 458-4800, or via e-mail at




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