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Health 

The Health of the State: Living and Dying in Arkansas

Births

Birth rates in Arkansas have, like those across the rest of the United States, generally declined since the mid-20th century, reflecting a trend toward smaller families, begun later in the parents' life.

Year  # of Births  # per 1,000 Population
1950  45,699 23.4
1970 35,457  18.4
1990 36,440 15.5
1999  36,670 14.4

County with most births, 1999:    Pulaski (5,513; rate per 1,000: 15.25)
County with fewest births, 1999:  Calhoun (54; rate per 1,000: 9.4)

Births to Mothers less than 20 years old, 1980-1999
Year   # of Births % of Total Births in State
1980 8036 21.5
1990 7174 19.68
1999 6526 17.06

Mortality

Year  # of Deaths Rate (# per 100,000 pop.) Rate, non-whites
1950  15,301 881.3 1,006.1
1970  20,668 1,074.6 1,211.6
1990 24,588 1,046 1,035.4
1999 27,934 1,094.9 937.8

The Arkansas Way(s) of Death

Heart attacks, cancers and strokes lead the pack of Arkansans' mortal enemies.  A relatively high rating for accidents and adverse effects may reflect Arkansan enjoyment of high-risk behaviors; anecdotal evidence points to lax workplace and recreational safety as contributing factors to the high "accidents" toll.  On the other hand, Arkansans commit suicide at a markedly lower rate than does the nation at large.

Leading Causes of Death in Arkansas, 1998, ranked, with national rankings for comparison.

Cause of Death AR total  Rank Rank, National
Heart disease  8,431 1 1
Malignancies (cancers)  5,950   2 2
Cerebrovascular (stroke) 2,344   3 3
Accidents/adverse effects 1,296  4 6
Chronic Pulmonary 1,236 5 4
Pneumonia/Influenza 1,096 6 5
Diabetes mellitus 644 7 7
Kidney diseases 393 8 9
Septicæmia  358 9 11
Suicide 344  10 8
Homicide/"Legal" Interv. 232 11 13
Alzheimer's Disease 231 12 12
Liver disease/cirrhosis 203   13 10
Atherosclerosis 150  14 14
Perinatal conditions  127 15 - aw(not in top 15)
Hypertension   125 - (not top 15) 15
All other causes   4,292    


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