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             1997 ARKANSAS VITAL STATISTICS:  A REVIEW                                                        
LIVE BIRTHS                                                                                            
     *  There were 36,450 births to Arkansas residents in 1997.                                               
                    The Arkansas crude birth rate is 14.4, compared to a U.S. rate of 14.6.                   
                    About one out of every five births (7,008) were to mothers 19 and under.                  
                    Live Births by County of Residence, Race and Hispanic Origin of Mother is a new table     
                    presented in Arkansas Vital Statistics:  1997.  About four and one half percent (1,610)   
                    of live births were to Hispanic mothers.                                                  
     * About thirty-three and one-half percent of the births (12,245) were to unmarried women.                
                    Over seven-tenths (5,725 out of 7,811 or 73.3%) of the black births, and over one-fifth   
                    (6,273 out of 27,814 or 22.6%) 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 3,033 births weighing less than 2,500 grams or 5.5 lbs. (8.3 percent of the total).        
                    The percentage of low birthweight births for blacks was 12.7, compared to 7.1 for whites. 
     *  Congenital anomalies were reported on the birth certificates of 619 newborns (1.7 percent of live     
                    "Other Circulatory/Respiratory Anomalies" was the most common category, with 63 reported  
                    "Heart Malformations" and "Other Musculoskeletal/Integumental Anomalies"  were the        
                    second most frequently reported categories with 58 cases each reported, followed by       
                    "Malformed Genitalia" with 49 cases, "Polydactyly/Syndactyly/Adactyly" with 45 cases      
                    and "Cleft Lip/Palate" with 44.                                                           
INDUCED ABORTIONS                                                                                      
     *  There were 5,889 reported induced abortions to Arkansas residents in 1997.                            
                    Arkansas received no induced abortion data from Louisiana or Oklahoma.  The data we       
                    received from Tennessee (558) and Texas (73) were not broken down by county or race.      
                    Therefore, the analysis of induced abortion ratios by county or racial category is        
                    severely limited.                                                                         
                    A total of 1,378 were to women age 19 and under, 84 of whom were 14 and under.            
FETAL DEATHS AND SPONTANEOUS ABORTIONS                                                                 
     *  Arkansas had 281 fetal deaths (>20 weeks and/or >350 grams) and 890 reported                          
        spontaneous abortions (<20 weeks) in 1997.                                                            
                    The leading cause of fetal deaths resulted from "Complications of Placenta, Cord, and     
                    Membranes", accounting for 102 of the 281 fetal deaths.                                   
                    The fetal death rate was higher for blacks (12.3) than for whites (6.5).                  
INFANT DEATHS                                                                                          
    *  The Arkansas infant mortality rate was 8.7, while the U.S. rate was 7.1.                               
                    Black Arkansans had an infant mortality rate of 14.3, compared to a white rate of 7.2.    
    *  Of the 316 Arkansans who died before their first birthday, roughly six out of ten (189 out of 316 or   
       59.8%) were  less than 28 days old.                                                                    
    *  "Congenital Anomalies" (birth defects) was the leading cause of infant deaths, claiming 71.            
                    "Short Gestation and Unspecified Low Birthweight" was second with 31 deaths.              
    *  In 1997, 27,824 Arkansas residents died.                                                               
                    The Arkansas crude death rate was 11.0, while the U.S. death rate was 8.6.                
    *  The leading cause of death in Arkansas in 1997 was "Heart Disease", which took 8,455 lives.            
                    "Cancer", second, caused 6,060 deaths; "Cerebrovascular Disease" was third with 2,462     
    *  "Accidents", the fourth leading cause of death for Arkansans, took 1,336 lives.                        
                    For ages 1 - 34, "Accidents" constituted the leading cause of death, accounting for about 
                    43.8% (or 502) of the deaths in this age group.                                           
MARRIAGES AND DIVORCES                                                                                 
    *  There were 39,736 marriages performed and 16,164 divorces/annulments finalized in 1997.                
                    The Arkansas marriage rate was 15.8, compared to a U.S. rate of 8.9.                      
                    The divorce rate was 6.4 for Arkansas and 4.3 for the U.S.                                
Technical Note:  In all tables, columns may not add to totals because of unknowns.                            
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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