Objectives—This report presents preliminary 1995 data on births and deaths in the United States from a new statistical series from the National Center for Health Statistics. U.S. data on births are shown by age, race, and Hispanic origin of mother. National and State data on marital status, prenatal care, cesarean delivery, and low birthweight are also presented. Mortality data presented include life expectancy, leading causes of death, and infant mortality. Methods—Data in this report are based on 80–90-percent samples of 1995 births and deaths. The records are weighted to independent control counts of births, infant deaths, and total deaths registered in State vital statistics offices during 1995. Final data for 1995 may differ from the preliminary estimates. Results—Preliminary data show that births and birth and fertility rates generally declined in 1995, especially for teenagers (3 percent); the teen rate was 56.9 births per 1,000 women aged 15–19 years. The number, rate, and ratio of births to unmarried mothers all declined, the first time all measures have dropped simultaneously since 1940. For the sixth consecutive year, the cesarean delivery rate declined and the rate for prenatal care utilization improved. The overall low birthweight rate was unchanged at 7.3 percent. The 1995 preliminary infant mortality rate reached a record low of 7.5 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, with record lows achieved for the white and black populations. Life expectancy matched the record high of 75.8 years attained in 1992. The largest declines in age-adjusted death rates among the leading causes of death were for homicide, Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, and accidents. Mortality also decreased for firearm injuries, drug-induced deaths, and alcohol-induced deaths. The age-adjusted death rate for diabetes increased. For the first time, the age-adjusted death rate for Human immunodeficiency virus infection did not increase
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