Monthly Vital Statistics Reports

Births and Deaths: United States, 1996

The report titled, “Births and Deaths: United States, 1996,” presents preliminary 1996 data on births and deaths in the United States. This report, the third in a new statistical series, is based on a new approach of collecting and processing vital statistics data. The new approach for vital statistics expedites the flow of data from the States to the National Center for Health Statistics, making it possible to publish more detailed findings on a faster schedule.

Data on births are shown by age, race, and Hispanic origin of mother. Other variables presented are national and State data on marital status, prenatal care, cesarean delivery, and low birthweight. Mortality data include life expectancy, leading causes of death, and infant mortality.

Data Highlights:

  • The 1996 preliminary infant mortality rate reached a record low of 7.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, with all-time lows for white and black populations.
  • Preliminary data show the teenage birth rate dropped 4 percent in 1996 to 54.7 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19 years. The teenage birth rate has declined 12 percent since 1991 (62.1), with larger reductions for young teenagers 15-17 years and for black teenagers.
  • The 1996 cesarean delivery rate declined slightly to 20.6 percent from 20.8 for 1995, and the rates for prenatal care utilization improved again for 1996 rising to 81.8 percent for women in their first trimester.
  • Life expectancy in 1996 increased slightly to reach a record high of 76.1 years, surpassing the previous record high in 1995 of 75.8 years.
  • The 1996 preliminary number of deaths in the United States totaled 2,322,265, an increase of 10,133 over the 1995 total of 2,313,132 deaths.

Keywords: Births, deaths, and vital statistics