Effect on Mortality Rates of the 1989 Change in Tabulating Race
Effective with vital statistics data for 1989, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has changed the manner in which race data are presented in reports on live births and fetal deaths. Race for live births and fetal deaths were tabulated by race of mother rather than by race of child. As a result of the change, infant, fetal, perinatal, and maternal mortality rates by race in NCHS tabulations for 1989 and subsequent years are not comparable with those of previous years.
The NCHS report, "Effect on Mortality Rates of the 1989 Change in Tabulating Race," documents the effect of the change in tabulation and presents mortality rates based on race of mother for years prior to when the change in tabulation was introduced. For the first time, continuous data tabulated by the race of mother are available for the affected rates from 1970 to 1989. Additionally, the report describes the effect of the changes by selected characteristics of the mother.
Annual data are presented for the two major race categories white and black. Additionally, data years 1987 89 have been combined to provide infant mortality rates for smaller race groups. In general, the effect of the change in tabulating race is small. The impact of the change is greater for blacks and other minority populations than it is for the white population.
This page last reviewed
January 11, 2007