Births in the United States, 2019

October 9, 2020

A new NCHS report presents selected highlights from 2019 final birth data on key demographic, health care utilization, and infant health indicators.

General fertility rates (the number of births per 1,000 women aged 15–44), prenatal care timing (the percentage of mothers with first trimester care), source of payment for the delivery (the percentage of births covered by Medicaid), and preterm birth rates are presented.

All indicators are compared between 2018 and 2019 and are presented for all births and for the three largest race and Hispanic-origin groups: non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic.

Findings from the Report:

  • The U.S. general fertility rate declined 1% in 2019 to 58.3 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44 from 59.1 in 2018; rates declined for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic women.
  • The percentage of mothers beginning prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy increased from 2018 to 2019 among non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black women, but decreased among Hispanic women.
  • Medicaid as the source of payment for the delivery declined from 42.3% to 42.1% from 2018 to 2019.
  • The preterm birth rate rose 2% from 2018 to 2019 from 10.02% to 10.23%; rates rose for each race and Hispanic origin group.

Fact or Fiction: Has the motor vehicle traffic fatality rate among young people in the U.S. has dropped significantly in recent years?

October 8, 2020

Source: National Vital Statistics System

Motor Vehicle Traffic Death Rates Among Adolescents and Young Adults Aged 15–24, by Urbanicity: United States, 2000–2018

October 8, 2020

Questions for Sally Curtin, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Motor Vehicle Traffic Death Rates Among Adolescents and Young Adults Aged 15–24, by Urbanicity: United States, 2000–2018.”

Q: Was there a specific finding in the data that surprised you from this report?

SC: The finding that the difference in MVT death rates between persons aged 15-24 and 25 years and over has narrowed so much since 2000 so that the rate is only 7% higher for 15-24 year-olds in 2018.

Q: How did you obtain this data for this report?

SC: These data are from the National Vital Statistics System and come from the information from death certificates in the United States.  All of the rates in this report are reproducible from the CDC WONDER online database.

Q: How do you classify urban and rural areas?

SC: The National Center for Health Statistics developed a scheme (the latest published in 2013) to classify the urbanicity of counties by combining information on whether the county was considered to be part of a metropolitan area and the population of the county.  Based on this, there are four categories of Metropolitan (urban) counties, from largest to smallest, and two categories of rural counties.

Q: Is this the first report on motor vehicle deaths with an urban and rural breakdown?  Is there any trend data that goes back further than 2000?

SC: A recent NCHS report examined trends in MVT deaths by urban-rural classification but it was for all ages combined.  This is the first report to focus on trends in younger adults, aged 15-24, by urban-rural.

There is MVT trends data prior to 2000, although they are not entirely comparable to the data from 1999 to the present.  However, trends from 1980-1999 rates are generally downward.

Q: What is the take home message for this report?

SC: There has been great progress in reducing death rates to young adults aged 15-24, for whom this has been a leading cause of death.  However, the disparity in rates that still exist between rural and urban counties shows that there is more work to be done, particularly in the most rural areas.


Fact or Fiction: Are there more deaths from cocaine overdoses in the U.S. than from heroin overdoses?

October 7, 2020

Source: National Vital Statistics System

Increase in Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Cocaine

October 7, 2020

Often overlooked because of all the attention generated by the increase in opioid overdose deaths over the years is that fact that deaths due to other drugs have been on the rise as well.  On October 7, 2020, NCHS released a new study looking at trends in deaths for one of those drugs.  “Increase in Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Cocaine, United States, 2009–2018documents a staggering increase in death rates from cocaine overdoses, going back a decade. 

From 2013 to 2018, for example, the cocaine overdose death rate tripled in America.  During that period and even more recently, the numbers of cocaine-related deaths have also risen dramatically.  In 2015, there were 6,789 overdose deaths in the U.S. related to cocaine.  According to provisional data for the one-year period ending in February 2020, that number has more than doubled, to 16,920 deaths.  In 2015, there were nearly twice as many heroin overdose deaths than cocaine deaths; in March 2019 to February 2020, there were over 2,500 more cocaine deaths than heroin deaths. 

Some other findings from the October 7 report, using final data from the National Vital Statistics System, include:

  • The rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine was stable between 2009 and 2013, then nearly tripled from 1.6 per 100,000 in 2013 to 4.5 in 2018.
  • In 2018, rates were highest for adults aged 35–44 and lowest for those aged 65 and over.
  • In 2018, the rate for the non-Hispanic black population (9.0) was nearly twice that for the non-Hispanic white (4.6) and three times that for the Hispanic (3.0) populations.
  • From 2014 through 2018, the rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine with opioids increased at a faster pace than the rate of cocaine deaths without opioids.
  • In 2018, the rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine was highest in urban counties in the Northeast and lowest in rural counties in the West.

Provisional Infant Mortality Rates from 2017 to Quarter 3, 2019

October 6, 2020

No significant change was seen when comparing rate(s) for the 12-month period ending with 2018 Q3 with rate(s) for the 12-month period ending with 2019 Q3.