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Finding and Using Health Statistics

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Vital Records

Vital records are collected by the National Vital Statistics System, and are maintained by state and local governments. Vital records include births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and fetal deaths. They also record information about the cause of death, or details of the birth.

Vital records are useful because they offer very detailed information and include information about rare disorders that end in death. Unfortunately, because there are so many state and local governments collecting this information, records can be inconsistent. Also, vital records only provide information on diseases and illnesses that end in death.

This graph shows the preterm birth rates for Non-Hispanic white, Hispanic, and Non-Hispanic black populations. This information comes from vital records
This graph shows the preterm birth rates for Non-Hispanic white, Hispanic, and Non-Hispanic black populations. This information comes from vital records.
Source: Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Ventura SJ, et al. Births: Final data for 2010. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 61 no 1. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2012.  //www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr61/nvsr61_01.pdf

The preterm birth rate in the non-hispanic black population decreased from nearly 20% to 17% between 1990 and 2010.
The preterm birth rate in the hispanic population increased from approximately 11% to 12% between 1990 and 2010
The preterm birth rate for the total population increased from roughly 10% to 12% between 1990 and 2010.
The preterm birth rate in the non-hispanic white population increased from just over 8% to roughly 11% between 1990 and 2010.
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