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New Jersey Health Statistics

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Improve the Health of Adolescents


Recent declines in the birth rate in the total population of females 10 through 14 years of age, and, in particular, in minority females in this age group, make it appear likely that the year 2000 objectives will be met. More years of data are needed to confirm this trend and refute the slight rise in rates in 1997, but a similar decline has been identified in other states and in the nation as a whole.


Birth rates among 15 through 19 year old females are considerably higher than in 10 through 14 year olds. The rate among minority females 15 through 19 has declined during the most recent years of the twelve-year period since 1985 and will likely meet the target. The rate in the total population of 15 through 19 year old females has remained fairly stable since 1985, however, it is also likely that the objective for the total population will be reached by the year 2000.


Although there has been substantial fluctuation in the death rate from motor vehicle injuries in 15 through 19 year olds over the period, the general trend has been a declining one over the past ten years and the objective was reached in 1994 and again in 1997. If this low rate can be maintained throughout the rest of the decade, this objective will be achieved.


The suicide death rate among white males 15 through 19 years of age has declined dramatically in recent years and met the year 2000 target in 1996. Because the annual number of deaths is small, the death rate tends to fluctuate, thus the current level may not be maintained for the rest of the decade. Since the death rate was below the target level again in 1997, it appears possible to meet the year 2000 objective.

The homicide death rate among 15 through 19 year old minority males varies widely from year to year in New Jersey, because of relatively small numbers of deaths. The death rate essentially met the year 2000 objective in 1990, but has since increased to a level well above the target. Although the rate decreased in 1997, the fluctuation in this rate from year to year makes it unlikely that the objective will be met by the year 2000.

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