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            1996 ARKANSAS VITAL STATISTICS:  A REVIEW                                                         
LIVE BIRTHS                                                                                            
     *  There were 36,356 births to Arkansas residents in 1996.                                               
          The Arkansas crude birth rate is 15.1, compared to a U.S. rate of 14.8.                             
          About one out of every five births (7,178) were to mothers 19 and under.                            
     *  Thirty-three percent of the births (12,157) were to unmarried women.                                  
          Over seven-tenths (5,768 out of 7,897 or 73.0%) of the black, and over one- fifth (6,165 out        
          of 27,696 or 22.3%) of the white births were to unmarried women.                                    
          About sixty-seven percent of the teenage births (ages 12-19) were to unmarried teenagers.           
     *  There were 3,078 births weighing less than 2,500 grams or 5.5 lbs. (8.5 percent of the total).        
          The percentage of low birthweight births for blacks was 13.6, compared to 7.1 for whites.           
     *  Congenital anomalies were reported on the birth certificates of 632 newborns (1.7 percent of live     
          "Other Musculoskeletal/Integumental Anomalies" was the most common category, with 77                
          reported cases.                                                                                     
          "Malformed Genitalia" was the second most frequently reported category with 65 cases                
          reported, followed by "Polydactyly/Syndactyly/Adactyly" with 61 cases, and "Cleft Lip/Palate"       
          with 51.                                                                                            
INDUCED ABORTIONS                                                                                      
     *  There were 6,082 reported induced abortions to Arkansas residents in 1996.                            
          A total of 1,479 were to women age 19 and under, 97 of whom were 14 and under.                      
FETAL DEATHS AND SPONTANEOUS ABORTIONS                                                                 
     *  Arkansas had 293 fetal deaths (>=20 weeks and/or >=350 grams) and 930 reported                        
         spontaneous abortions (<20 weeks) in 1996.                                                           
          Ninety-eight  fetal deaths resulted from "Complications of Placenta, Cord, and Membranes",          
          which was the most common cause.                                                                    
          The fetal death rate was higher for blacks (12.8) than for whites (6.8).                            
INFANT DEATHS                                                                                          
     *  The Arkansas infant mortality rate was 9.3, while the U.S. rate was 7.2.                              
          Black Arkansans had an infant mortality rate of 14.3, compared to a white rate of 7.9.              
     *  Of the 337 Arkansans who died before their first birthday, roughly six out of ten (204 out of 337 or  
        60.5%) were  less than 28 days old.                                                                   
     *  "Congenital Anomalies" (birth defects) was the leading cause of infant deaths, claiming 68.           
          "Other Respiratory Conditions of Newborn" was second with 34 deaths, and "Short Gestation           
          and Unspecified Low Birthweight" was third with 26 deaths.                                          
     *  In 1996, 26,526 Arkansas residents died.                                                              
          The Arkansas crude death rate was 11.0, while the U.S. death rate was 8.8.                          
     *  The leading cause of death in Arkansas in 1996 was "Heart Disease", which took 8,310 lives.           
          "Cancer", second, caused 5,960 deaths; "Cerebrovascular Disease" was third with 2,294               
     *  "Accidents", the fourth leading cause of death for Arkansans, took 1,265 lives.                       
          For ages 1 - 34, "Accidents" constituted the leading cause of death, accounting for about           
          42% (or 470) of the deaths in this age group.                                                       
MARRIAGES AND DIVORCES                                                                                 
     *  There were 39,143 marriages performed and 16,908 divorces/annulments finalized in 1996.               
          The Arkansas marriage rate was 16.2, compared to a U.S. rate of 8.8.                                
          The divorce rate was 7.0 for Arkansas and 4.3 for the U.S.                                          
For explanation of rates and ratios, see "formulas" on page iii.                                              
Source for U.S. rates:  NCHS Monthly Vital Statistics Reports                                                 
Source for Arkansas data:  Center for Health Statistics, Arkansas Department of Health                        
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