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New Jersey Health Statistics



  • For the seventh consecutive year, resident births declined in New Jersey.

  • Total fertility in the state remained slightly below the population replacement rate.

  • The total fertility rate in white women was well below the replacement rate, the black rate was slightly over the replacement rate, and the Hispanic rate substantially exceeded the replacement rate.

  • The percentage of births delivered by cesarean section remained stable at just under one-fourth.

  • More than one-third of women who had previously delivered by cesarean section delivered vaginally in 1997.

  • The percentage of births occurring to women under age 20 remained at a near-record low, while the percentage of births to women 35 years and over continued to increase.

  • Among counties, Cumberland County had the highest percentage of births to teen mothers, while Camden City had the highest percentage among all major municipalities in the state.

  • The percentage of births occurring to unmarried mothers continued to increase.

  • The proportion of mothers receiving prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy remained at three-quarters.

  • Diabetes (either pre-existing or gestational) was the most frequently reported medical risk factor among women delivering in 1997.

  • More than half of the births to New Jersey residents in 1997 were accompanied by some complication of labor or delivery.

  • Nine out of ten mothers who delivered in 1997 had electronic fetal monitoring performed.

  • The percentage of newborns of low birth weight continued to slowly increase.


  • The number of deaths from HIV infection declined by 42.7 percent from the previous year.

  • HIV infection fell to tenth among the leading causes of deaths of residents of the state.

  • The number of resident deaths decreased from the previous year.

  • The New Jersey crude death rate was higher than the comparable U.S. rate, but when adjusted for age differences, New Jersey's death rate was lower than that of the U.S.

  • Age-specific death rates were stable or declined in every age group from 1996 to 1997.

  • Heart disease, cancer, and stroke remained the three leading causes of death.

  • On an average day in 1997 in New Jersey, 197 residents died: 63 due to heart disease, 49 from cancer, 12 from stroke, 8 due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 7 each from pneumonia/influenza and diabetes, 6 from unintentional injuries, 4 from septicemia, 3 from nephritis/nephrosis and HIV infection, and 37 from all other causes.

  • The total age-adjusted death rate from cancer continued to slowly decline.

  • Two-thirds of the deaths among 15 through 24 year olds were due to injuries: unintentional, homicide, or suicide.

  • Due to the major decrease in the number of deaths from HIV infection, unintentional injuries became the leading cause of death among the population 25 through 44 years old. Of these deaths, more than half were due to drug poisonings (overdoses).

  • Cancer was the leading cause of death among residents 45 through 64 years of age, followed by heart disease.

  • Lung and bronchus cancer caused more deaths in 45 through 64 year olds, and in both males and females, than any other cancer type. Breast cancer was a close second among females in this age group.

  • Heart disease and cancer ranked first and second, respectively, as causes of death in the population 65 and over.

  • Lung and bronchus cancer was the leading cause of death from cancer among persons 65 through 84 years of age, while colon and rectum cancer was responsible for more cancer deaths among residents aged 85 and older than any other type.

  • When the effects of age are eliminated, the death rates for blacks are higher than for whites and the rates for males are higher than for females for each of the ten leading causes of death in the state.

  • The infant mortality rate continued to decline.

  • While the decline in the infant mortality rate occurred in black, white, and other race infants, the rate remained almost three times as high among black infants as white.

  • More than two-thirds of infant deaths occurred during the neonatal period.

  • SIDS remained the leading cause of postneonatal infant deaths.

Marriage and Divorce

  • The number of marriages in the state increased in 1997 and was the highest number since 1991.

  • The median age of brides and grooms marrying in 1997 continued to increase for all marriages as well as for first marriages.

  • There were more than twice as many marriages in New Jersey in 1997 as there were divorces.


  • The number of cases of AIDS diagnosed in New Jersey residents peaked in 1993 and has declined since. The number of cases diagnosed in 1997 was the lowest since 1988.

  • Two-thirds of New Jersey residents ever diagnosed with AIDS had died by the end of 1998.

  • Over 60 percent of the New Jersey resident AIDS cases diagnosed in 1997 were non-Hispanic blacks.

  • More than one-third of the cases diagnosed in New Jersey in 1997 were females, compared to less than one-fourth of the U.S. cases.

  • The number of new verified cases of tuberculosis continued the decline which began in 1993.

  • Reported cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia decreased over the prior year.

  • The number of reported cases of Lyme disease decreased for the first time since 1992.

Health Status

  • As of 1997, almost 62 percent of the health objectives based on vital statistics and communicable disease data were on track to be achieved. About 30 percent appeared unlikely to be achieved.

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