Monthly Vital Statistics Reports

Births and Deaths: United States, July 1996-June 1997

The National Center for Health Statistics has just released a report that shows preliminary data for births and deaths for the 12-month period from July 1996 to June 1997. This report “Births and Deaths: United States, July 1996-June 1997 presents data on births by age, race, and Hispanic origin of mother. National and State data on marital status, prenatal care, cesarean delivery, and low birth weight are also presented. Mortality data presented include life expectancy, leading causes of death, and infant mortality. The preliminary data in this series is based on records of birth and deaths that occurred from July 1996-June 1997 and were received and processed by the Division of Vital Statistics at NCHS.

Data Highlights:

  • Birth rates among teenagers dropped to 53.5 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19 years, 3 percent lower than the 12-month period ending June 1996. Birth rates for teenagers have been declining since 1991.
  • The preliminary number of births in the United States totaled 3,903,260, about 1 percent more than the preliminary number for the 12 month period ending June 1996 (3,881,967).
  • The cesarean delivery rate remained the same at 20.7 percent. The primary cesarean rate remained the same at 14.6, but the rate of vaginal birth after cesarean decreased from 28.2 to 27.9 percent.
  • The preliminary number of deaths in the United States for the 12 months ending June 1997 total 2,334,722, an increase of 17,907 more than the 12 month period ending June 1996 (2,317,625).
  • The 15 leading causes of death for the 12 months ending June 1997 were the same as the previous 12 month period, however, the order changed somewhat. Of particular note, HIV infection dropped from the 8th leading cause of death to the 13th leading causes of death. Homicide dropped from 12th to 14th, Alzheimer’s disease rose from 14th to 11th, kidney disease rose from 11th to 9th, and both suicide and septicemia each rose one place in the ranking.
  • The preliminary infant mortality rate was 7.1 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, a 5 percent decline from the previous 12 month period (7.5). The leading cause of infant mortality, congenital anomalies, accounted for 22 percent of all infant death and declined by 4 percent. The infant mortality rates for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which accounted for 10 percent of all infant deaths, declined by 15 percent.

Keywords: vital statistics, natality, mortality, infant mortality