Return to Table of Contents
            1998 ARKANSAS VITAL STATISTICS:  A REVIEW                                                         
LIVE BIRTHS                                                                                            
     *  There were 36,831 births to Arkansas residents in 1998.                                               
                    The Arkansas crude birth rate is 14.5, compared to a U.S. rate of 14.6.                   
                    About one out of every five births (6,831) were to mothers 19 and under.                  
                    Close to five percent (1,769) of live births were born to mothers of Hispanic origin.     
          * Thirty-five percent of the births (12,910) were to unmarried women.                               
                    Over seven-tenths (5,930 out of 7,968 or 74.4%) of the black births, and over one-fifth   
          (6,710 out of 28,029 or 23.9%) of the white births were to unmarried women.                         
                    Seventy and one half percent of the teenage births (ages 12-19) were to unmarried         
          *  There were 3,270 births weighing less than 2,500 grams or 5.5 lbs. (8.9 percent of the total).   
                    The percentage of low birthweight births for blacks was 13.9, compared to 7.5 for whites. 
          *  Congenital anomalies were reported on the birth certificates of 697 newborns (1.9 percent of     
     live     births).                                                                                        
                    "Heart Malformations" was the most common category, with 78 reported cases.               
                    "Malformed Genitalia" was the second most frequently reported category, with 60 cases,    
          followed by "Polydactyly/Syndactyly/Adactyly", with 54 reported cases, and "Club Foot",             
          with  52 reported cases.   "Other Musculoskeletal/Integumental Anomalies" , "Cleft                  
          Lip/Palate", and "Other Circulatory/Respiratory Anomalies" each had 50 reported cases.              
INDUCED ABORTIONS                                                                                      
          *  There were 5,675 reported induced abortions to Arkansas residents in 1998.                       
                    Arkansas received no induced abortion data from Louisiana or Oklahoma.  The data we       
          received from Tennessee (539) and Texas (57) were not broken down by county.                        
          Therefore, the analysis of induced abortion ratios by county is severely limited.                   
                    A total of 1,334 were to women age 19 and under, 66 of whom were 14 and under.            
FETAL DEATHS AND SPONTANEOUS ABORTIONS                                                                 
          *  Arkansas had 232 fetal deaths (>=20 weeks and/or >=350 grams) and 735 reported                   
              spontaneous abortions (<20 weeks) in 1998.                                                      
                    The leading cause of fetal deaths resulted from "Conditions Originating in Perinatal      
          Period" (216 deaths), with the subcategories of "All Other/Ill-Defined Conditions" (81              
          deaths) and "Complications of Placenta, Cord, and Membranes" (62 deaths), accounting                
          for sixty-six percent of the 216 total.                                                             
                    The fetal death rate was higher for blacks (11.2) than for whites (5.0).                  
 INFANT DEATHS                                                                                                
          *  The Arkansas infant mortality rate was 9.2, while the U.S. rate was 7.0.                         
               Black Arkansans had an infant mortality rate of 15.2, compared to a white rate of 7.6.         
          * Sixty-three percent (214) of the 339 Arkansans who died before their first birthday were  less    
     than 28 days old.                                                                                        
          *  "Congenital Anomalies" (birth defects) was the leading cause of infant deaths, claiming 84.      
                    "Sudden Infant Death Syndrome" was the second leading cause of infant death, with 37      
          deaths, followed by "Short Gestation and Unspecified Low Birthweight"  with 33 deaths.              
     *  27,452 Arkansas residents died in 1998.                                                               
                    The Arkansas crude death rate was 10.8, while the U.S. death rate was 8.6.                
          * "Heart Disease" was the leading cause of death for Arkansans in 1998, taking 8,431 lives.         
                    "Cancer", ranking second, caused 5,950 deaths; "Cerebrovascular Disease" was third        
          with 2,344 deaths.                                                                                  
          *  "Accidents", the fourth leading cause of death for Arkansans, took 1,296 lives.                  
                    "Accidents and Adverse Effects" was the leading cause of death among both males and       
          females through the age of 24.  Over half (52%) of the state's accident fatalities were due         
          to motor vehicle accidents, which claimed the lives of 675 Arkansans in 1998.                       
MARRIAGES AND DIVORCES                                                                                 
          *  There were 38,302 marriages performed and 16,353 divorces/annulments finalized in 1998.          
                    The Arkansas marriage rate was 15.1, compared to a U.S. rate of 8.3.                      
                    The divorce rate was 6.4 for Arkansas and 4.2 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                        
Return to Table of Contents