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New Jersey Health Statistics
2002

BIRTHS

Statistical Overview

There were 114,642 live births to New Jersey residents in 2002 (Table N1 and Figure N1).  The birth rate was 13.3 live births per 1,000 population (Table N1).  Age-specific birth rates for mothers 30-44 years old continued to rise and age-specific birth rates continued to vary considerably by race and ethnicity although there was a decline in birth rates for teens aged 15-19 in each race/ethnicity group (Table N4).  Multiple births as a share of all births were up 7.5 percent from 2001 and the percentage remained well above the level ten years earlier (4.3% and 2.8%, respectively) (Table N9 and Figure N4).  Older mothers and white non-Hispanic mothers had the highest rates of multiple births (Table N10 and Figure N4A).  In 2002, 30 percent of live births were delivered via cesarean, the highest rate since a separate checkbox item on method of delivery was added to the birth certificate in 1989.  The rate of vaginal birth after a previous cesarean fell below half of its 1996 peak rate (Table N15 and Figure N6).  Cesarean rates were positively correlated with maternal age (Table N17). 

 Maternal Characteristics and Medical Services Utilization

The median age of women who gave birth in 2002 was 30.4 (Table N28); 47.6 percent of mothers were under age 30 and 52.4 percent were 30 and over (Table N18 and Figure N8).  The number and percent of births to teens continued a long decline (to 7,472 births or 6.5% of the total number of births) that has lasted more than three decades.  Conversely, the number and percent of births to women 35 and over continued to rise, increasing to 24,252 births (21.2% of all births) (Table N19 and Figure N9).  White non-Hispanic women accounted for 54.4 percent of births; 21.2 percent were to Hispanic women of any race; 15.4 percent were to black non-Hispanic women; and 8.3 percent were to Asian and Pacific Islander non-Hispanic women (Table N22 and Figures N7 & N11A).  For the first time, half of Hispanic births were to mothers of Central or South American origin (Table N22 and Figure N11B).  For 28.5 percent of women giving birth in 2001, this was their first pregnancy (Table N25); for 40.3 percent this was their first live birth and for 33.4 percent this was their second (Table N27 and Figure N12).  The median age of women giving birth to their first child was 27.8 (Table N28).  The proportion of births occurring to unmarried mothers increased slightly to 29.1 percent (Table N29 and Figure N13).  For women under 25 years of age, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic blacks, more than half of births in 2002 were to unmarried women (Table N30 and Figures N13A & N13B). 

More than three-quarters of women received prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy, while 1.1 percent did not receive care at all (Table N35 and Figure N14).  Older mothers, white or Asian/Pacific Islander non-Hispanic mothers, married mothers, mothers with higher levels of education, and U.S.-born mothers were more likely to receive early prenatal care while younger mothers, black non-Hispanic mothers, unmarried mothers, and less educated mothers were more likely to receive no care (Tables N37-N39, N41).  On average, mothers who gave birth in 2002 received 10.6 prenatal care visits. 

Over nine percent of births were preterm (fewer than 37 weeks of gestation) in 2002.  Nearly 15 percent of births to black non-Hispanic mothers were preterm compared to 9.3, 8.5, and 8.0 percent for Hispanic, white non-Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander non-Hispanic mothers, respectively.  Prematurely born infants were disproportionately likely to be part of a multiple birth and were more likely than average to be underweight (less than 2,500 grams) (Table N42 and Figure N15). 

In 2002, 8.3 percent of mothers reported that they smoked during pregnancy, 1.0 percent drank alcohol, and 1.5 percent used other drugs (Tables N43-N45 and Figure N16).  Diabetes was the most frequently reported medical risk factor among mothers delivering in 2002 (4.4%).  Among black non-Hispanic mothers and mothers under age 25, sexually transmitted diseases were the most commonly reported risk factor.  Nearly 59 percent of women delivering in 2002 reported no medical risk factors (Table N46).  Over 90 percent of mothers had electronic fetal monitoring and ultrasound performed (Table N47 and Figure N17).  Nearly 44 percent had no complication of labor and/or delivery reported.  Moderate or heavy meconium and fetal distress were the most commonly reported complications in each age group and in each race/ethnicity group (Table N48).

 Newborn Health

In 2002, 7.8 percent of infants were of low birth weight (less than 2,500 grams at birth).  Among black non-Hispanic mothers, however, the rate was 13.2 percent (Tables N49 & N49A and Figure N19).  Low birth weights occurred most frequently among the youngest and the oldest mothers, while mothers aged 25-29 had the lowest rates (Tables N49A and Figure N18).  Low birth weight was highly correlated with plurality.  While only 5.7 percent of singletons were of low birth weight, 53.6 percent of multiple births weighed less than 2,500 grams (Table N53 and Figure N21).  The likelihood of low birth weight also increased with the number of previous pregnancy terminations and with a lack of prenatal care (Tables N52 & N54 and Figures N20 & N22).

More than 94 percent of infants received five-minute Apgar scores of seven or higher.  Mothers who did not receive prenatal care had the highest rates of low (0-6) Apgar scores (Table N56).  Over 93 percent of newborns had no abnormal conditions reported.  Assisted ventilation of 30 minutes or more was the most frequently reported abnormal condition among newborns in 2002 (Table N57).  There were no congenital anomalies reported on 93.6 percent of birth certificates (Table N58), however New Jersey maintains a separate Birth Defects Registry that may more accurately reflect the population of newborns and children with congenital anomalies. 

The Technical Notes section contains information on sources of data, allocation of data by residence or occurrence, quality of data, racial and ethnic classification, definitions, and rates and ratios.

LIVE BIRTH DATA TABLES 

Table N1

Births and Birth Rates, New Jersey and United States, 1982-2002

Table N2

Births and Birth Rates by County of Residence

Table N3

Births to Residents of Selected Municipalities

Table N4

Fertility and Age-Specific Birth Rates

Table N5

Births by Month and Day of Week

Table N6

Sex of Child by County of Residence

Table N7

Sex of Child for Selected Municipalities

Table N8

Sex of Child by Race/Ethnicity of Mother

Table N9

Plurality, 1992-2002

Table N10

Plurality by Age and Race/Ethnicity of Mother

Table N11

Births by Attendant, 1992-2002

Table N12

Attendant by Age and Race/Ethnicity of Mother

Table N13

Attendant by County of Residence

Table N14

Births by Place, 1992-2002

Table N15

Method of Delivery and Cesarean and VBAC Rates, 1992-2002

Table N16

Births by Method of Delivery

Table N17

Method of Delivery by Age and Race/Ethnicity of Mother

Table N18

Births by Age and Race/Ethnicity of Mother

Table N19

Births to Women in Selected Age Groups, 1982-2002

Table N20

Births by Age and County of Residence

Table N20A

Teen Birth Rates by County of Residence

Table N21

Births by Age for Selected Municipalities

Table N22

Births by Detailed Race/Ethnicity Groups and Hispanic Country of Origin

Table N23

Births by Race/Ethnicity and County of Residence

Table N24

Births by Race/Ethnicity for Selected Municipalities

Table N25

Previous Pregnancy History by Age of Mother

Table N26

First Birth Rate by Age and Race/Ethnicity of Mother

Table N27

Live-Birth Order by Age and Race/Ethnicity of Mother

Table N28

Median Age of Mother by Race/Ethnicity

Table N29

Births by Marital Status, 1982-2002

Table N30

Births by Marital Status and Detailed Age and Race/Ethnicity

Table N31

Births by Age, Race/Ethnicity, and Marital Status

Table N32

Births by Marital Status and County of Residence

Table N33

Births by Marital Status for Selected Municipalities

Table N34

Maternal Weight Gain by Gestation Length and Birth Weight

Table N35

Onset of Prenatal Care by County of Residence

Table N36

Onset of Prenatal Care for Selected Municipalities

Table N37

Onset of Prenatal Care by Race/Ethnicity and Age of Mother

Table N38

Onset of Prenatal Care by Marital Status and Age of Mother

Table N39

Onset of Prenatal Care by Mother's Educational Attainment

Table N40

Number of Prenatal Visits by Race/Ethnicity and Onset of Prenatal Care

Table N41

Selected Birth Outcomes by Birthplace and Race/Ethnicity of Mother

Table N42

Gestational Length and Preterm Delivery Rate by Race/Ethnicity, Plurality, and Birth Weight

Table N43

Smoking by Age and Race/Ethnicity

Table N44

Drinking by Age and Race/Ethnicity

Table N45

Drug Use by Age and Race/Ethnicity

Table N46

Medical Risk Factors by Age and Race/Ethnicity of Mother

Table N47

Obstetric Procedures Performed by Age and Race/Ethnicity of Mother

Table N48

Complications of Labor and/or Delivery by Age and Race/Ethnicity of Mother

Table N49

Low Birth Weight by Race/Ethnicity of Mother, 1992-2002

Table N49A

Birth Weight by Age and Race/Ethnicity of Mother

Table N50

Birth Weight by County of Residence

Table N51

Birth Weight for Selected Municipalities

Table N52

Birth Weight by Number of Previous Pregnancy Terminations

Table N53

Birth Weight by Plurality

Table N54

Birth Weight by Onset of Prenatal Care and Race/Ethnicity of Mother

Table N55

Detailed Birth Weights

Table N56

Five-minute Apgar Score by Race/Ethnicity and Age of Mother and
Onset of Prenatal Care

Table N57

Abnormal Conditions of Newborn by Age and Race/Ethnicity of Mother

Table N58

Congenital Anomalies of Newborn by Age and Race/Ethnicity of Mother

  

LIVE BIRTH GRAPHS AND MAPS 

Figure N1

Births, New Jersey, 1982-2002

Figure N2

Birth Rates, New Jersey and the United States, 1982-2002

Figure N3

Birth Rates by County (Map)

Figure N4

Multiple Birth Rate, 1992-2002

Figure N4A

Multiple Birth Rate by Age of Mother

Figure N5

Attendant at Birth, 1992-2002

Figure N6

Vaginal Birth After Previous Cesarean (VBAC) Rate, 1992-2002

Figure N7

Race/Ethnicity of Mother

Figure N8

Age of Mother

Figure N9

Births to Women Under 20 and Women 35 and Over, 1982-2002

Figure N10

Percentage of Births to Teens by County (Map)

Figure N11

Teen Birth Rates by County (Map)

Figure N11A

Race/Ethnicity of Mother, 1992 and 2002

Figure N11B

Hispanic Country of Origin, 1992 and 2002

Figure N12

Median Maternal Age, 1992-2002

Figure N13

Unmarried Mothers, 1982-2002

Figure N13A

Unmarried Mothers by Age

Figure N13B

Unmarried Mothers by Race/Ethnicity

Figure N13C

Percent of Births to Unmarried Mothers by County (Map)

Figure N13D

First Trimester Prenatal Care Percentage by County (Map)

Figure N14

Prenatal Care Onset

Figure N15

Low Birth Weight by Gestational Age

Figure N16

Smoking, Drinking, and Drug Use During Pregnancy

Figure N17

Obstetric Procedures Performed

Figure N18

Low Birth Weight by Age of Mother

Figure N19

Low Birth Weight by Race/Ethnicity of Mother, 1992 and 2002

Figure N19A

Low Birth Weight Percentage by County (Map)

Figure N20

Low Birth Weight by Number of Previous Pregnancy Terminations

Figure N21

Low Birth Weight by Plurality

Figure N22

Low Birth Weight by Onset of Prenatal Care



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