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Delaware Health Statistics Center


Highlights of the Delaware Vital Statistics Annual Report 2006

  • Disparities between blacks and whites continued to be prominent in the data. Disparities were largest for: low birthweight births, infant mortality rates, fertility rates, and mortality rates for HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and homicide.
    • The black HIV/AIDS mortality rate in 2002-2006 was 17 times that of whites. HIV was the fifth leading cause of death for black Delawareans; it ranked third for black males and fifth for black females.
  • Heart disease, cancer, and stroke remained the three leading causes of death, though the age-adjusted mortality rates for each decreased from 2001-2005 to 2002-2006.
    • The leading causes of death with the lowest median age at death were homicide (26 years) and drug-induced deaths (37 years).
    • Deaths of infants under 1 accounted for 1.4 percent of all deaths in 2006; deaths of those 75 and older accounted for 54 percent of all deaths.
  • The average life expectancy for a child born in 2006 was 78.4 years.
  • Delaware's infant mortality rate (IMR) decreased from 9.2 in 2001-2005 to 8.8 in 2002-2006. At 16.1 deaths per 1,000 live births, the black IMR was more than double both the white rate of 6.4 and the Hispanic rate of 7.
    • Disorders related to short gestation and low birthweight accounted for the greatest number of infant deaths, followed by birth defects and maternal complications of pregnancy.
      • Over one-third of SIDS deaths were associated with co-sleeping with adults and/or sleeping on soft surfaces, such as couches and adult beds. During that same time, 21 other infant deaths were also associated with co-sleeping or sleeping on a soft surface.
  • From 1991-1995 to 2002-2006, Delaware teen (15-19) birth rates decreased 22.8% to 43.6 live births per 1,000 teens 15-19.
    • White Delaware teen birth rates decreased 13% to 34.7 and black teen birth rates decreased 42% to 69.2. The larger decrease in black teen rates reduced the black/white disparity ratio from 3 in 1991-1995 to 2 in 2002-2006.
    • In contrast to the state numbers, New Castle County's teen (18-19) rates rose over the past five time periods and the 2002-2006 rate was 12.6% higher than in 1991-1995.
    • Though Sussex County experienced no increases in its teen birth rates, it continued to have the highest birth rates for teens of both age groups (15-17 and 18-19) and races.
  • In 2006, 45 percent of live births in Delaware were to unmarried mothers; the proportion of unmarried mothers ranged from 38 percent of white births to 71 percent of black births.
  • Nearly 14 percent of Delaware women who smoked while pregnant gave birth to low birthweight babies, versus 8.8 percent of non-smokers who gave birth to low birthweight babies. The percent of mothers who smoked while pregnant was highest for white women in Kent County (16) and black women in Sussex County (13).
  • For the first time in over a decade, the percent of Delaware mothers who received prenatal care (pnc) in the first trimester decreased in all counties, though pnc attainment in Sussex County had been decreasing since 1998-2002. The proportions of pnc attainment ranged from 26.2 percent of Hispanic mothers under 20 in Sussex County, to 92.7 percent of white mothers 30 and over in New Castle County.
  • The most common boy's names in 2006 were Michael, Ryan, John, and Jacob. The most common girl's names were Madison, Emily, Ava, and Isabella.
  • Both marriage and divorce rates remained relatively stable.
  • There were 11,898 live births in DE in 2006; 295 more than in 2005.
  • The 2002-2006 general fertility rate was 65.8 births per 1,000 women ages 15-44 (slightly, 2%, higher than the 2001-2005 rate).
  • The mean age of first time mothers in 2006 was 25.0.
  • The percent of births to unmarried women rose again in 2006, to 45.3 percent of all births. The steadily increasing trend began in 1991, when 31.8 percent of all births were to unmarried women.
  • From 1997 to 2006, the rate of cesarean deliveries increased 45 percent, to 30.5 per 100 live births.
  • After increasing steadily through the 1990s and leveling off in the last four time periods, first trimester prenatal care attainment in Delaware decreased from 84.7 to 82 percent.
  • From 2001-2005 to 2002-2006, the five-year percent of low birthweight (LBW) births was unchanged at 9.4; very low birthweight (VLBW) births also remained relatively stable at 2.0.
    • Black mothers had the highest percentage of LBW and VLBW births, at 14.6 percent and 3.6 percent respectively.
  • The percent of plural births remained stable at 3.7 percent of all births in 2006, most of which were twin births. Triplet births accounted for only .2 percent of all births.
  • The annual percent of preterm births remained stable at 14 percent of all births in 2006. Since 1989 there has been a 22 percent increase in the proportion of babies born preterm (under 37 weeks gestation); just over 3/4; of the increase was due to the increase in the number of babies born late preterm (34-36 weeks gestation).

Link to Delaware Vital Statistics Annual Report 2006

Link to Delaware Health Statistics main page



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