General fertility rates and the number of births in the United States both declined by 1 percent in 2010-2011, and teenage birth rates continue to decline, as stated in the “Annual Summary of Vital Statistics: 2010-2011.” The annual report in the March 2013 issue of Pediatrics (published online Feb. 11) provides a summary of current vital statistics data for the U.S. This year also includes a special feature on data quality improvement.
Data for the report is compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Highlights include:
In 2011, the teenage birth rate fell to 31.3 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19, another historic low for the United States.
The preterm birth rate declined for the fifth straight year in 2011 to 11.72 percent, down from 12.80 percent in 2006.
The low birth-weight rate declined to 8.10 percent in 2011, slightly lower from 8.15 percent in 2010.
In 2011, the leading causes of infant death were congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities, which accounted for 20.8 percent of infant deaths.
Unintentional injuries (accidents) were the leading cause of death among children, accounting for 35.6 percent of deaths of children age 1 to 19 years.
Life expectancy at birth was 78.7 years in 2011, unchanged from 2010.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. (www.aap.org)