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Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives: 2008

NCES 2008-084
September 2008

1.8. Birth Rates and Child Mortality


The overall fertility rate for American Indian/Alaska Native women (ages 15 to 44 years) is lower than that for women in general; however, birth rates for young women (ages 15 to 24 years) are higher among American Indians/Alaska Natives than among young women overall. Infant and child mortality rates for American Indians/Alaska Natives are higher than those for all infants and children under age 19.

Figure 1.8a. Fertility rates, by race/ethnicity and age group of mother: 2005
Fertility rates, by race/ethnicity and age group of mother: 2005
NOTE: Race categories include persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Vital Statistics Reports: Vol. 56, no. 6, Births: Final Data for 2005, tables 3 and 7.

Figure 1.8b. Infant mortality rates, by race/ethnicity of mother: Selected years, 1984 to 2004
Infant mortality rates, by race/ethnicity of mother: Selected years, 1984 to 2004
NOTE: Infant deaths are deaths before a child's first birthday. Race categories include persons of Hispanic ethnicity, unless otherwise specified (i.e., White, non-Hispanic and Black, non-Hispanic).
SOURCE: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2005, based on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics, National Linked Files of Live Births and Infant Deaths; and Infant Mortality Statistics From the 2003 and 2004 Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Sets, National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 54, No. 16, 2006, and Vol. 55, No. 19, 2007.

Figure 1.8c. Child mortality rates, by age group of child and race/ethnicity of mother: 2005
Child mortality rates, by age group of child and race/ethnicity of mother: 2005
NOTE: Race categories include persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56, No. 10, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics, Vital Statistics Cooperative Program, 2005.

The overall fertility rate for American Indian/Alaska Native women (calculated as live births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 years) has not changed significantly from 76 in 1990 to 60 in 2005. Similarly, the fertility rates of the general population did not change significantly over the same time period (71 in 1990 to 67 in 2005). Persons of Hispanic ethnicity are included in the race categories in this indicator except where noted.

While the general fertility rate of American Indian/ Alaska Native women was lower in 2005 than that for women overall, birth rates for young women (ages 15 to 24 years) were higher for American Indians/Alaska Natives than for all young women. In that year, there were 53 live births for every 1,000 American Indian/Alaska Native women ages 15 to 19 years old, compared to 41 for every 1,000 women ages 15 to 19 years old in the general population. For 20- to 24-year-olds, the rate was 109 per 1,000 American Indian/Alaska Native women, and 102 per 1,000 women overall. For both age groups, however, the birth rates for American Indians/Alaska Natives were lower than those for Blacks (62 live births per 1,000 women 15 to 19 years old, and 130 per 1,000 women 20 to 24 years old) and Hispanics (82 live births per 1,000 women 15 to 19 years old, and 170 per 1,000 women 20 to 24 years old).

Infant mortality rates (the number of deaths per 1,000 live births) declined for all racial and ethnic groups between 1984 and 2004, the most recent year for which data were available. Nonetheless, babies born to American Indian/Alaska Native mothers have relatively high infant mortality rates. In 2004, the infant mortality rate for American Indians/ Alaska Natives was 9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, which was higher than the rates for Whites (non-Hispanic), Hispanics, and Asians/Pacific Islanders (6, 6, and 5 deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively), but lower than the rate for Blacks (non- Hispanic) (14 deaths per 1,000 live births).

In 2005, the mortality rates for American Indian/ Alaska Native children and adolescents, including those of Hispanic ethnicity, between the ages of 1 and 19, were higher than the mortality rates for children in the general population. The differences were most pronounced with young children ages 1 to 4 and with adolescents ages 15 to 19. Mortality rates for American Indian/Alaska Native children ages 1 to 4 were 59 deaths per 100,000 young children, compared to 29 deaths per 100,000 young children in the total population. Similarly, mortality rates among American Indian/Alaska Native adolescents (15 to 19 years old) were 94 deaths per 100,000 adolescents, while those for the general population were 65 deaths per 100,000 adolescents.

View Table View Table 1.8a View Table View Table 1.8b View Table View Table 1.8c

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