Monthly Vital Statistics Reports

Births of Hispanic Origin, 1989-95

This report, “Births of Hispanic Origin, 1989-95” presents trend data on births in the United States to women of Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin, for a wide variety of characteristics. Among Hispanic women, data are presented, where possible, separately for Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, General and South American and other Hispanic women. Data for non-Hispanic are shown for white non-Hispanic and black non-Hispanic women.

Data are presented for a variety of characteristics. Maternal demographic characteristics include age, marital status, live-birth order, educational attainment, and mother’s place of birth. Health care utilization items include timing of prenatal care, cesarean delivery rate, place of birth and midwife attendance. Infant health characteristics include percent born preterm, low birthweights, very low birthweight, and percent born in multiple births. Trend data for the number of births by State are also presented. Data shown in this report are based on 100 percent of births certificates registered in all States and the District of Columbia.

Data Highlights:

  • The number of Hispanic-origin births has increased steadily every year from 1989 (532,249) to 679,768 in 1995, or 17 percent of all births in the country. This increase has occurred concurrent with growth of the U.S. Hispanic population, which has risen from an estimated 21,648,000 in 1989 to 26,994,000 in 1995, an increase of 25 percent.
  • Hispanic women as a group continue to have higher fertility rates than non-Hispanic, Mexican women in particular have dramatically higher rates.
  • Prenatal care can promote healthier pregnancy outcomes by detecting and managing pre-existing medical conditions and providing health behavior advice. The proportion of Hispanic women who began care in the first trimester of pregnancy in 1995 (70.8 percent) was similar to that for non-Hispanic black (70.4 percent), but much lower than that of non-Hispanic white women (87.1 percent).
  • All groups experienced declines in their cesarean rates from 1989 to 1995. The largest decline was for Cuban women (15 percent) followed by non-Hispanic white women (11 percent). Non-Hispanic black women had the smallest decline of any group (2 percent).

Keywords: hispanic, birth rates, maternal and infant health, maternal characteristics