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SELECTED FEATURES                                                        
The purpose of this section is to identify and discuss some of the major maternal                             
and child health indicators for 2000, thereby orienting the reader to the data                                
presented throughout the report.                                                                              
Arkansas resident live births increased slightly from 36,672 in 1999 to 37,790 in                             
2000, a rise of 3.05 percent.  The Crude Live Birth Rate rose from 13.8 to 14.1 per                           
1,000 persons.                                                                                                
All live births have been classified by race of mother into white, black, and other.                          
Live births increased slightly for all groups.                                                                
The number of live births to adolescent mothers, those under the age of twenty, has                           
continued to decline in Arkansas since 1996, following a nationwide trend.  In                                
1996,19.3 percent of all live births occurred to teenage women.  In 2000, this                                
percentage dropped to 16.9.  Although the percentage of live births occurring to                              
black women remains higher than those of white mothers (25.9 percent for blacks                               
vs. 14.9 for whites) both races are experiencing a decline.                                                   
Live births to unmarried mothers rose  by 607, from 1999 to 2000, going from 12,905                           
to 13,512. The 12,905 births in 1999 represents 35.2 percent of all live births,                              
whereas the 13,512 represents 35.8 percent of all live births for 2000.                                       
Of all live births, 8.6 percent, or 3,236 babies, were low birthweight (LWB) births                           
{weighting less than 2500 grams (5 1/2 pounds)}.  The proportion of LBW infants among                         
white  decreased from 7.4 percent in 1999 to 7.2 percent in 2000, but the number of                           
LBW blacks increased from 12.9 percent in 1999 to 13.8 percent in 2000.                                       
A total of 26.6 percent of all deliveries were done by Cesarean section (10,056 out                           
of 37,790 births).  Only 39.4 of the Cesarean section deliveries were repeat                                  
procedures (a previous birth for this mother was also a C-section delivery).                                  
The Arkansas infant mortality rate was 8.3 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2000,                              
compared with 8.5 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1999 and a national average of                              
6.9.  Black Arkansans had an infant mortality rate of 13.6, compared to a white rate                          
of 7.0.  Approximately 58 percent (183) of the 315 Arkansans who died before their                            
first birthday were less than 28 days old (neonatal deaths).                                                  
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