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New Jersey Health Statistics 1996



  • The number of births to New Jersey residents declined for the sixth consecutive year.

  • Total fertility increased slightly in 1996 from the 1995 rate, but remained under the replacement level. The total black fertility rate exceeded the population replacement rate, while the white rate was below the replacement rate.

  • In 1996, more than one-third of women who had had a previous cesarean section delivery had vaginal deliveries.

  • The majority of births were to females 25 through 34 years of age. However, the percentage of mothers aged 35 and over continued to increase while the percentage of births to teenage mothers continued to decline. In the city of Camden, almost 30 percent of births were to teenage mothers.

  • There were 19,197 births to Hispanic women, of any race, living in New Jersey. About 80 percent of the births in Union City and Perth Amboy were to Hispanic women.

  • More than one-fourth of the live births were to women who reported they were not married. Most teenage mothers were not married.

  • Three-fourths of women who delivered in 1996 began prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy. Teenage mothers had the lowest percentage of first trimester onset of prenatal care of any age group.

  • The most frequently reported medical risk factors among women who delivered in 1996 were diabetes, pregnancy-associated hypertension, and sexually transmitted diseases other than genital herpes, in that order.

  • More than 7 percent of live births were considered to be of low birth weight and 1.5 percent were in the very low birth weight category.

  • The percentage of births to black mothers in the low birth weight category was 2.1 times the percentage of low birth weight births to white mothers.

  • Low birth weight was also found to be associated with mother's age, marital status, number of previous pregnancy terminations and onset of prenatal care.

  • In 1996, one-third of women who received no prenatal care delivered low birth weight babies.


  • The number of deaths and the crude death rate decreased in 1996 from 1995 levels.

  • New Jersey's crude death rate is higher than that of the country as a whole; however, when the effect of age is eliminated through age-adjustment, New Jersey's death rate is slightly lower than that of the U.S.

  • Death rates declined in every age group over the past year.

  • Diseases of the heart, malignant neoplasms (cancer), and cerebrovascular diseases (stroke) accounted for almost two of every three deaths of state residents in 1996.

  • On an average day in 1996, 65 New Jerseyans died from diseases of the heart; 50 from cancer; 12 from stroke; eight from COPD; seven each from pneumonia/influenza and diabetes, six from unintentional injury; five from HIV infection; three each from septicemia and nephritis/nephrosis, and 34 from all other causes.

  • Mortality risks other than those that are age-related are highest for black males and lowest for white females. Age-adjusted death rates are two to three times as high for black males as for white females, regardless of the standard population used.

  • There were fewer deaths in 1996 than in 1995 from each of the ten leading causes of death except COPD and nephritis/nephrosis. The most dramatic decrease was in deaths from HIV infection, which declined 757 from the previous year.

  • When the effect of age is taken into account through age adjustment, the cancer death rate in 1996 was slightly lower than it was ten years ago.

  • Among cancer types showing major declines in death rates over the past ten years were lip, oral cavity, and pharynx; colorectal; bone, skin, connective tissue; female breast; and cervical.

  • The leading cause of deaths of children aged one through 14 was unintentional injuries in 1996.

  • Injuries of all types (unintentional, homicide, suicide and undetermined intentionality) were the cause of two-thirds of the deaths of persons 15 through 24 in 1996.

  • HIV infection fell to eighth rank as a cause of death, from sixth in 1995, but remained the leading cause of death in persons 25 through 44 years of age. HIV infection was responsible for about one-fourth of all deaths in this age group.

  • There were 420 deaths of persons 25 through 44 from accidental poisoning by drugs, medicinal substances and biologicals (this group includes accidental drug overdoses).

  • Cancer and heart disease, in that order, account for more than 60 percent of the deaths of persons 45 through 64; the death rates in this age group from both of these causes have been declining for more than a decade.

  • About three-fourths of deaths occur in persons 65 and over.

  • Over the previous ten years, the motor vehicle-related fatality rate decreased in every age group except the elderly.

  • Years of Potential Life Lost before age 65 (YPLL) is a measure of premature or early death. In 1996, the YPLL rate for blacks was 2.6 times the white rate and the male rate was 1.7 times the rate for females.

  • The leading cause of premature deaths among all New Jersey residents, among whites, and among females was cancer. The highest female cancer YPLL rate was for breast cancer.

  • Unintentional injuries was the second leading cause of early death among the total population and the leading cause of YPLL among males.

  • HIV infection was the third leading cause of premature death among the total population and the leading cause of YPLL among blacks. The YPLL rate due to HIV infection for blacks was almost eight times the white rate.

  • The homicide YPLL rate was almost nine times as high in blacks as in whites.

  • Among the leading causes of YPLL among state residents, black rates were higher than white rates for all causes except suicide.

  • Among the leading causes of YPLL, male rates were higher than female rates for all causes except cancer.

  • The infant mortality rate increased slightly in 1996 over the 1995 figure.

  • The black infant mortality rate increased over the 1995 level and the rates for white and other races declined. The black infant mortality rate was 2.8 times the rate among white infants.

Marriage and Divorce

  • There were fewer marriages in the state in 1996 than in any year since 1977.

  • The median ages at first marriage of brides and grooms continued to increase.


  • New Jersey continued to rank fifth in the nation in terms of cumulative reported AIDS cases and had the fourth highest AIDS incidence rate per 100,000 in 1996, after Washington, D.C., New York State and Florida.

  • New Jersey's AIDS cases differ in demographic characteristics and method of transmission from those in the rest of the country:

    • About half of New Jersey's cases are heterosexual injecting drug users, while the majority of the nation's cases are homosexual or bisexual males who are not injecting drug users.

    • The proportion of the state's AIDS cases which are attributed to heterosexual transmission is higher than in the country as a whole.

    • The proportion of New Jersey's AIDS cases who are female is higher than the proportion in the U.S.

    • More than half of New Jersey's reported AIDS cases are found among non-Hispanic black residents, while about one-third of the nation's cases are non-Hispanic blacks.

  • Essex and Hudson Counties together accounted for more than 40 percent of all the AIDS cases diagnosed in New Jersey in 1996.

  • The incidence of verified tuberculosis has declined during each of the past four years.

  • About 60 percent of verified cases of tuberculosis were diagnosed in persons 25 through 54 in 1996; in addition, slightly less than 60 percent were diagnosed in males and almost 40 percent were black.

  • Among white females, the most frequent age at diagnosis of verified tuberculosis was 65 and over.

  • The syphilis incidence rate continued to decline. However, the number of reported gonorrhea cases in 1996 increased more than 50 percent over the 1995 figure. The most frequently reported sexually transmitted disease was chlamydia.

  • The incidence of Lyme disease, giardiasis, and campylobacteriosis increased over 1995 levels.

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2004
Department of Health
P. O. Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

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