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Mon Vital Stat Rep. 1998 Jun 30;46(11 Suppl):1-99.

Report of final natality statistics, 1996.



This report presents 1996 data on U.S. births according to a wide variety of characteristics. Data are presented for maternal demographic characteristics including age, live-birth order, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, and educational attainment; maternal lifestyle and health characteristics (medical risk factors, weight gain, tobacco and alcohol use); medical care utilization by pregnant women (prenatal care, obstetric procedures, complications of labor and/or delivery, attendant at birth, and method of delivery); and infant health characteristics (period of gestation, birthweight, Apgar score, abnormal conditions, congenital anomalies, and multiple births). Also presented are birth and fertility rates by age, live-birth order, race, Hispanic origin, and marital status. Selected data by mother's State of residence are shown including teenage birth rates and total fertility rates, as well as data on month and day of birth, sex ratio, and age of father. Trends in fertility patterns and maternal and infant characteristics are described and interpreted.


Descriptive tabulations of data reported on the birth certificates of the 3.9 million births that occurred in 1996 are presented.


Birth and fertility rates declined very slightly in 1996. Birth rates for teenagers fell 3 to 8 percent. Rates for women in their twenties increased slightly in 1996, the first increase since 1990, while rates for women in their thirties rose 2 to 3 percent. The number and percent of births to unmarried women increased slightly in 1996 while the birth rate for unmarried women declined modestly. Smoking by pregnant women overall dropped again in 1996, but increased among teenagers. Improvements in prenatal care utilization continued. The cesarean delivery rate declined. The proportion of multiple births continued to rise; higher order multiple births (e.g., triplets, quadruplets) rose by 19 percent. Key measures of birth outcome--the percents of low birthweight and preterm births--increased slightly, in large part the result of increases in multiple births.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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