| Rates | Cause of Death
Rankings | Race/Ethnicity | Data
Sources | Data Quality | Residence/Occurrence
- Abnormal Conditions of the Newborn (Martin, et al., 2002):
- Anemia: hemoglobin level of less than 13.0 g/dL or a hemocrit
of less than 39 percent.
- Birth Injury: impairment of the infant’s body function
or structure due to adverse influences which occurred at birth.
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: a syndrome of altered perinatal growth
and development occurring in infants born of women who consumed
excessive amounts of alcohol during pregnancy.
- Hyaline Membrane Disease/RDS: a disorder primarily of prematurity,
manifested clinically by respiratory distress and pathologically
by pulmonary hyaline membranes and incomplete expansion of the
lungs at birth.
- Meconium Aspiration Syndrome: aspiration of meconium by the
fetus or newborn affecting the lower respiratory system.
- Assisted Ventilation: a mechanical method of assisting respiration
for newborns with respiratory failure.
- Seizures: a seizure of any etiology.
- Apgar Score: a summary measure of an infant's clinical condition
based on heart rate, respiratory effort, muscle tone, reflex irritability,
and color taken at one and five minutes after delivery. Each of the
factors is given a score of 0, 1, or 2; the sum of these five values
is the Apgar score which can range from 0 to 10. A score of 10 is
optimal and a low score (usually considered to be less than 7) is
considered an indication of potential health problems and raises concerns
about the subsequent health and survival of the infant.
- Birth Weight: the first weight of the fetus or newborn obtained
after delivery. Birth weight is recorded in grams.
- Complications of Labor and/or Delivery (Martin, et al., 2002):
- Febrile: a fever greater than 100 degrees F or 38 C occurring
during labor and/or delivery.
- Moderate or Heavy Meconium: meconium consists of undigested
debris from swallowed amniotic fluid, various products of secretion,
excretion, and shedding by the gastrointestinal tract; moderate
to heavy amounts of meconium in the amniotic fluid noted during
labor and/or delivery
- Premature Rupture of Membranes (more than 12 hours): rupture
of the membranes at any time during pregnancy and more than 12
hours before the onset of labor.
- Abruptio Placenta: premature separation of a normally implanted
placenta from the uterus.
- Placenta Previa: implantation of the placenta over or near the
internal opening of the cervix.
- Other Excessive Bleeding: the loss of a significant amount of
blood from conditions other than abruptio placenta or placenta
previa. [An EBC software cross-edit does not allow this complication
to be selected unless blood loss greater than or equal to 750
cc for vaginal deliveries and 1,200 cc for cesarean deliveries
- Seizures During Labor: maternal seizures occurring during labor
from any cause.
- Precipitous Labor (less than 3 hours): extremely rapid labor
and delivery lasting less then 3 hours.
- Prolonged Labor (more than 20 hours): abnormally slow progress
of labor lasting more than 20 hours.
- Dysfunctional Labor: failure to progress in a normal pattern
- Breech/Malpresentation: at birth, the presentation of the fetal
buttocks rather than the head, or other malpresentation.
- Cephalopelvic Disproportion: the relationship of the size,
presentation, and position of the fetal head to the maternal pelvis
which prevents dilation of the cervix and/or descent of the fetal
- Cord Prolapse: premature expulsion of the umbilical cord in
labor before the fetus is delivered.
- Anesthetic Complications: any complication during labor and/or
delivery brought on by an anesthetic agent or agents.
- Fetal Distress: signs indicating fetal hypoxia (deficiency in
amount of oxygen reaching fetal tissues).
- Congenital Anomalies of the Child (Martin, et al., 2002):
- Central Nervous System Anomaly: includes anencephalus, spina
bifida/meningocele, hydrocephalus, microcephalus, or other anomaly
of the brain, spinal cord, or nervous system.
- Heart Malformation: congenital anomaly of the heart.
- Other Circulatory/Respiratory Anomaly: other specified anomalies
of the circulatory or respiratory systems.
- Gastrointestinal Anomaly: includes rectal atresia/stenosis,
tracheo-esophageal fistula/esophageal atresia, omphalocele/gastroschisis,
or other anomaly of the gastrointestinal system.
- Urogenital Anomaly: includes malformed genitalia, renal agenesis,
or other anomaly of the organs concerned in the production and
excretion of urine, together with organs of reproduction.
- Cleft Lip/Palate: cleft lip is a fissure or elongated opening
of the lip; cleft palate is a fissure in the roof of the mouth.
- Polydactyly/Syndactyly/Adactyly: polydactyly is the presence
of more than five digits on either hands and/or feet; syndactyly
is having fused or webbed fingers and/or toes; adactyly is the
absence of fingers and/or toes.
- Club Foot: deformities of the foot, which is twisted out of
shape or position.
- Other Musculoskeletal/Integumental Anomaly: includes diaphragmatic
hernia or other anomaly of the muscles, skeleton, or skin.
- Down’s Syndrome: the most common chromosomal defect with
most cases resulting from an extra chromosome.
- Other Chromosomal Anomaly: any other chromosomal aberration.
- Live Birth: the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother
of a product of conception, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy,
which, after such separation, breathes or shows any evidence of life,
such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or
definite movement of voluntary muscles.
- Low Birth Weight: birth weight of less than 2,500 grams or approximately
5 pounds, 8 ounces. Prior to 1989, New Jersey defined low birth weight
as 2,500 grams or less.
- Marital Status: the marital status of the mother for statistical
purposes is determined for data years after 1988 by the response to
the birth certificate item, "Mother married? (At birth, conception,
or any time between)".
- Medical Risk Factors for This Pregnancy (Martin, et al., 2002):
- Anemia: hemoglobin level of less than 10.0 g/dL during pregnancy
or a hematocrit of less than 30 percent during pregnancy.
- Cardiac Disease: disease of the heart.
- Acute or Chronic Lung Disease: disease of the lungs during pregnancy.
- Diabetes: metabolic disorder characterized by excessive discharge
of urine and persistent thirst; includes juvenile onset, adult
onset, and gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
- Genital Herpes: infection of the skin of the genital area by
herpes simplex virus.
- Hydramnios/Oligohydramnios: any noticeable excess (hydramnios)
or lack (oligohydramnios) of amniotic fluid.
- Hemoglobinopathy: a blood disorder caused by alteration in the
genetically determined molecular structure of hemoglobin (example:
sickle cell anemia).
- Chronic Hypertension: blood pressure persistently greater than
140/90, diagnosed prior to onset of pregnancy or before the 20th
week of gestation.
- Pregnancy-Associated Hypertension: an increase in blood pressure
of at least 30mm Hg systolic or 15mm Hg diastolic on two measurements
taken 6 hours apart after the 20th week of gestation.
- Eclampsia: the occurrence of convulsions and/or coma unrelated
to other cerebral conditions in women with signs and symptoms
- Incompetent Cervix: characterized by painless dilation of the
cervix in the second trimester or early in the third trimester
of pregnancy, with premature expulsion of membranes through the
cervix and ballooning of the membranes into the vagina, followed
by rupture of the membranes and subsequent expulsion of the fetus.
- Previous Infant 4,000+ Grams: the birth weight of a previous
live-born child was over 4,000 grams (8 pounds, 14 ounces).
- Previous Preterm or Small-for-Gestational Age Infant: previous
birth of an infant prior to term (before 37 completed weeks of
gestation) or of an infant weighing less than the tenth percentile
for gestational age using a standard weight-for-age chart.
- Renal Disease: kidney disease.
- Rh Sensitization: the process or state of becoming sensitized
to the Rh factor as when an Rh-negative woman is pregnant with
an Rh-positive fetus.
- Uterine Bleeding: any clinically significant bleeding during
the pregnancy taking into consideration the stage of pregnancy;
any second or third trimester bleeding of the uterus prior to
the onset of labor.
- Multiple Births: individual births in twin, triplet, quadruplet,
and higher order multiple deliveries.
- Obstetric Procedures (Martin, et al., 2002):
- Amniocentesis: surgical transabdominal perforation of the uterus
to obtain amniotic fluid to be used in the detection of genetic
disorders, fetal abnormalities, and fetal lung maturity.
- Electronic Fetal Monitoring: monitoring with external devices
applied to the maternal abdomen or with internal devices with
an electrode attached to the fetal scalp and a catheter through
the cervix into the uterus, to detect and record fetal heart tones
and uterine contractions.
- Induction of Labor: the initiation of uterine contractions
before the spontaneous onset of labor by medical and/or surgical
means for the purpose of delivery.
- Stimulation of Labor: augmentation of previously established
labor by use of oxytocin.
- Tocolysis: use of medications to inhibit preterm uterine contractions
to extend the length of pregnancy and, therefore, avoid a preterm
- Ultrasound: visualization of the fetus and the placenta by means
of sound waves.
- Plurality: singleton, twin, triplet, quadruplet, etc.
- Previous Pregnancy Terminations: from the mother's pregnancy history
on the certificate of live birth, a previous spontaneous or induced
termination of pregnancy at any time after conception that did not
result in a live birth.
- Teen Birth: birth to a mother under 20 years of age.
- Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Use during Pregnancy: use of these substances
self-reported by mother.
- Trimester of Pregnancy: the first trimester includes the first 12
weeks of pregnancy, the second trimester encompasses the thirteenth
through twenty-fourth weeks and the third trimester is the period
after the twenty-fourth week through delivery.
- Very Low Birth Weight: birth weight of less than 1,500 grams or
approximately 3 pounds, 5 ounces.
- Cause of Death Classification: a system of specification of the
diseases and/or injuries which led to death and the sequential order
of their occurrence. The version of the system in use in 2000 was
the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related
Health Problems, Tenth Revision, sponsored by the World Health Organization.
- Comparability Ratio: a number used to measure the effect of changes
in classification and coding rules between revisions of the International
Classification of Diseases (ICD). Comparability ratios less than 1.0
result from fewer deaths being classified to cause x under ICD-10
compared with the comparable cause under ICD-9. Ratios greater than
1.0 result from more deaths being classified to cause x under ICD-10.
Preliminary comparability ratios used in this report should not be
used on data prior to 1994 and caution should be exercised when applying
the ratios to age-, race-, or sex-specific data.
- Fetal Death: death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction
from its mother of a product of conception; the fetus shows no signs
of life such as breathing or beating of the heart, pulsation of the
umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles. Fetal deaths
are also referred to as stillbirths, miscarriages, or abortions.
- Infant Death: death within the first year of life.
- Maternal Death: a death in which the certifying physician has designated
a maternal condition as the underlying cause of death. In the Tenth
Revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases
and Related Health Problems, this includes only those deaths assigned
to causes related to or aggravated by pregnancy or pregnancy management
(ICD-10 codes O00-O95, O98-O99, and A34) and which occur within 42
days after delivery or other termination of pregnancy.
- Neonatal Death: death of an infant within the first 27 days of life.
- Postneonatal Mortality: death of an infant from 28 days to one year
- Underlying Cause of Death: the disease or injury which initiated
the train of events leading directly to death or the circumstances
of the unintentional injury or violence which produced the fatal injury.
All cause-of-death data in this report relate to the underlying cause
of death coded from the death certificate.
- Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL): a measure of the number of
years of life not lived by each individual who died before reaching
a predetermined age. For purposes of this report, the predetermined
age is 75. This measure weights deaths at younger ages more heavily
than deaths at older ages; the younger the age at death, the greater
the number of years of potential life lost. The YPLL for a population
is computed as the sum of all the individual YPLL for individuals
who died during a specific time period.
All Tables in the Report
- Not Stated: an inclusive term used to represent data which are missing,
unknown, not available, or not classifiable.
RATES AND RATIOS
The presentation of vital statistics in the form of rates and ratios
facilitates comparisons between political subdivisions with populations
of different sizes or between subgroups of a population. Crude rates
are calculated by dividing the number of events of a type that occur
to the residents of an area (e.g., births, deaths) by the resident
population of an area or subgroup. The events are limited to those
that occur within a specific time period, usually a year, and the
population is, in general, the mid-year estimate of the resident population
of the area, although census counts as of April 1 may be used in decennial
census years. Crude rates are expressed in terms of occurrences within
a standard, rounded population, usually 1,000 or 100,000.
While the denominators for rates consist of the population at risk
of the events included in the numerator (e.g., births, deaths), ratios
are designed to indicate the relationship between two counts in which
the denominator population is not at risk of the events included in
the numerator. An example of a ratio contained in this report is the
maternal mortality ratio in which the number of deaths due to maternal
causes forms the numerator and the number of live births provides
In order to compare birth and death experiences among various ages
and races or between the sexes, rates may be computed for subgroups
of the population. These are referred to as age-, race-, or sex-specific
rates and are calculated by dividing the relevant events within a
subgroup by the population in the subgroup. Death rates from specific
causes may also be calculated, with the numerator consisting of the
deaths from the particular cause in an area and the denominator comprised
of the population at risk of the disease or condition.
The numbers of births and deaths in an area are directly related
to the demographic characteristics of the area's population. In comparing
rates over time or among geographic areas, it is helpful to eliminate
the effects of the differences in the populations' demographic characteristics
on the comparison. This can be accomplished through adjustments of
the rates for the particular characteristics of interest. The most
common type of adjustment of rates is for age. Direct adjustment of
vital statistics rates involves application of existing rates (age-,
race-, or sex-specific) to a standard population to arrive at the
theoretical number of events that would occur in the standard population,
at the rates prevailing in the actual population. These events are
then divided by the total number of persons in the standard population
to arrive at an adjusted rate. Adjusted rates are index numbers and
cannot be compared to crude or other actual rates. The use of adjusted
rates is limited to comparison with other adjusted rates, based on
the same standard population. The standard population used in this
report is the United States 2000 standard million, derived from the
projection of counts from the 2000 decennial census. Reports in this
series prior to 1999 used the US 1940 standard million for age-adjustment.
The definition of rates and ratios used in this report follows. It
should be noted that alternative forms exist for some of these statistics.
Some other states and the federal government may employ different
formulae for the computation of selected rates.
- Crude Birth Rate: the number of resident live births per 1,000 population.
- General Fertility Rate: the number of resident live births per 1,000
females aged 15-44 years.
- Total Fertility Rate: age-specific birth rates of women in five-year
age groups multiplied by five and summed to form a total for all ages.
This rate indicates the number of children a cohort of 1,000 women
would bear if they experienced the existing age-specific birth rates
throughout their childbearing years.
- Age-Specific Birth Rate: the number of resident live births to females
in a specific age group per 1,000 females in the age group.
- Crude Death Rate: the number of resident deaths per 100,000 population.
- Age-Adjusted Death Rate: Direct Method-the elimination of the effect
of age on the crude death rates for purposes of comparison with other
rates by applying actual age-specific rates to a standard population.
The resulting death rate in the standard population is age-adjusted
and can be compared to other death rates age-adjusted to the same
- Cause-Specific Death Rate: the number of resident deaths from a
specific cause per 100,000 population.
- Infant Death Rate: the number of resident deaths under one year
of age per 1,000 population.
- Infant Mortality Rate: the ratio of the number of deaths to children
less than one year of age in a given year per 1,000 births in the
- Neonatal Death Rate: the number of resident infant deaths within
the first 27 days of life per 1,000 live births.
- Postneonatal Death Rate: the number of resident infant deaths from
28 days to one year of life per 1,000 live births.
- Fetal Death Rate: the number of resident fetal deaths of 20 or more
weeks gestation per 1,000 resident live births plus fetal deaths of
20 or more weeks of gestation.
- Marriage Rate: the number of marriage certificates issued in an
area per 1,000 population.
- Divorce Rate: the number of divorces occurring in an area per 1,000
Caution should be exercised in the interpretation of rates and ratios
based on small numbers. Chance variations in the number of vital events
occurring in sparsely populated areas can cause rates to fluctuate
widely over time. In accordance with National Center for Health Statistics
(NCHS) standards, percentages or rates based on fewer than 20 cases
are considered unreliable for analysis purposes. Therefore, these
percentages and rates are not displayed and are indicated by ** in
the appropriate cell. For purposes of analyzing vital statistics rates
for small areas, calculation of three- or five-year average rates
and other statistical methodologies for analyzing small numbers may
provide more meaningful measures.
The cause-of-death rankings found in this report are based on distinct
causes of death from the list of 31 cause groups and two residual
categories employed in the cause-of-death distributions by race-sex
groups and age and by county in the report. This list is derived from
the NCHS List of 113 Selected Causes of Death (Martin, 2002) and modified
for use in New Jersey.
The cause-of-death ranking of infant and fetal deaths is based on
the NCHS List of 130 Selected Causes of Infant Death (Martin, 2002).
RACE AND ETHNICITY
A race group (White, Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Chinese,
Japanese, Hawaiian, Filipino, Asian Indian, Korean, Samoan, Vietnamese,
Guamian, other Asian/Pacific Islander, other race, and an unknown race
category) and an ethnicity (Non-Hispanic, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban,
Central or South American, other Hispanic, and an unknown ethnicity
category) are reported for each individual for whom a birth, death,
or fetal death record is filed. The race and ethnicity of an infant
are not reported on the birth or fetal death certificate and are classified
for statistical purposes as the race and ethnicity of the mother.
Race/ethnicity designations used in the birth chapter of this report
are white (non-Hispanic), black (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, Asian/Pacific
Islander (non-Hispanic), and other (non-Hispanic) races. The Hispanic
category includes persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central/South
American, or other Hispanic ethnicity, regardless of race. The Asian/Pacific
Islander (non-Hispanic) category includes persons of Chinese, Japanese,
Hawaiian, Filipino, Asian Indian, Korean, Samoan, Vietnamese, Guamian,
and other Asian and Pacific Islander descent who were not reported
as Hispanic. The other (non-Hispanic) race category includes all race
groups other than white, black, and Asian/Pacific Islander who were
not reported as Hispanic.
Race and ethnicity classifications are based on self-reports, or
in the case of death records, on reports from respondents, usually
a family member, or from persons responsible for preparing the death
certificates. Race and ethnicity reporting on birth and fetal death
certificates has been found to be virtually complete, therefore birth,
infant death, and fetal death data for Asian/Pacific Islanders and
Hispanics are presented. However, race reporting for races other than
white and black and reporting of Hispanic ethnicity on death certificates
is incomplete; therefore, data presented in the body of the death
chapter are only given for white and black races, regardless of ethnicity.
Persons who are identified as Hispanic have been included in the analysis
of mortality data by race based on the race reported on the decedent’s
death certificate in Tables M1-M39
and are reported separately in Tables MH1–MH9.
Asians and Pacific Islanders are included in the other race category
in Tables M1-M39 and are reported
separately in Tables MA1–MA9.
The birth chapter encompasses births to New Jersey residents during
the calendar year 2000. The birth certificate is the source document
for data included in the analysis. New Jersey law requires that the
attending physician, midwife, or person acting as midwife file a certificate
of birth with the Local Registrar within five days of a birth within
the state. Statistics on births to New Jersey residents which occurred
in other states are also included in this report. The inclusion of
these data is made possible through the auspices of the Vital Statistics
Cooperative Program, which encourages the exchange of information
on vital events between the states of occurrence and residence.
In January of 1996, the New Jersey Department of Health began a pilot test of its electronic birth certificate
(EBC) in four maternity hospitals in the state. Upon successful completion
of this test, the EBC was systematically installed in other New Jersey
birthing facilities over the next two years. By the end of 1998, all
New Jersey birthing facilities were reporting births to the State
through the EBC system. Future reports in this series will benefit
from the improved quality and timeliness of the data afforded by the
EBC, as well as the enhanced array of perinatal data provided through
The format of the birth certificate was revised and
expanded in 1989. The position of items on the revised birth certificate
led to considerable confusion between the reporting of a mother’s
mailing address and her residence address. In 1998, the Center for
Health Statistics completed a multi-year project involving the application
of address standardization software to convert mailing-label type
information so that birth records could be accurately assigned to
geographic areas. With the resolution of this problem, it is once
again possible to display data at the municipality level.
The mortality information contained in this report covers deaths of
New Jersey residents during the 2000 calendar year. The report's source
document is the death certificate. New Jersey law requires the prompt
filing of a death certificate by the proper authority, such as hospital
personnel, physicians, medical examiners, and funeral directors, in
the event of a death occurring in the state. These certificates are
submitted to the office of the State Registrar, where they are recorded
and filed permanently. Statistics on deaths of New Jersey residents
which occurred in other states are obtained through participation
in the national Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Unless otherwise
noted, the data presented in this report are for New Jersey residents.
All of the causes of deaths included in this report
are underlying causes, and were coded by the National Center for Health
Statistics’ SuperMICAR and ACME software in accordance with
the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related
Health Problems, Tenth Revision, adapted for use in the United States.
Additional causes of death listed on the certificates, including the
immediate and intermediate causes, are not considered in the analysis.
The inclusion of all listed causes of death (multiple causes of death)
could lead to somewhat different results.
Infant mortality data are presented from the linked infant death-birth
match file which has death certificates for infants matched with their
birth certificates. This file allows analysis of maternal characteristics
and newborn health information that is not on the death certificate.
It is important to note that in reports in this series
prior to the 1998 report, when infant mortality was reported by race,
it was the race of the child as reported on the death certificate.
Beginning with this report, the race of the mother on the birth certificate
will be used. The race and ethnicity of an infant are not reported
on the birth certificate and are classified for statistical purposes
as the race and ethnicity of the mother. By analyzing infant deaths
based on the mother’s race and ethnicity, the data will be comparable
with the birth data used for denominators in calculating infant mortality
rates. This also allows the analysis of infant deaths by Hispanic
ethnicity which was not done prior to the 1998 data year due to poor
ethnicity reporting on the death certificate.
Fetal deaths occurring after the completion of 20 or more weeks of
gestation are required to be reported to the State Registrar by New
Jersey law. Induced abortions of 20 weeks or more gestation are encompassed
by this requirement, but are not included in the fetal death count.
Fetal death figures presented in this report, therefore, include only
spontaneous abortions beyond 19 weeks of gestation. Fetal deaths of
unknown or unstated gestational age are also included. Only fetal
deaths occurring to females who were New Jersey residents are included.
Marriages and Divorces
Information on marriages in this report was obtained from marriage
certificates issued in New Jersey. Marriage certificates are filed
with the State Registrar. Divorce and annulment statistics were provided
by the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts, Family Division.
Marriages are recorded by the place of issuance of the certificate
and divorces and annulments are recorded by place of judgment. Since
no mechanism for interstate exchange of resident marriage and divorce
data exists, marriages, divorces, and annulments of New Jersey residents
which occur outside of the state are not included in this report,
while marriages and divorces of out-of-state residents occurring in
New Jersey are included.
Births, Deaths, Fetal Deaths, and Marriages
The birth, death, fetal death, and marriage data presented in this
report were generated from data files available at the time of preparation
of the respective chapters. Any data pertaining to a vital event for
which a certificate was filed after that time or relating to corrections
or revisions made since the data were processed for this report are
not included. Vital events computer files are periodically updated
by Bureau of Vital Statistics and Center for Health Statistics staff
based on correction reports received from local registrars and from
quarterly data quality control analyses conducted by the Center for
Health Statistics. This report incorporates data from the most recently
updated files. Thus, 2000 data presented in future reports of vital
events may differ slightly from numbers presented in this report.
Population estimates presented in this report and used to calculate
various rates were derived from files prepared by the National Center
for Health Statistics (NCHS)
in collaboration with the U.S. Bureau
of the Census. These estimates result from bridging the 31 race
categories used in the 2000 Census, as specified in the 1997 federal
standards for the collection of data on race and ethnicity, to the
four race categories specified under the 1977 standards. Many data
systems, such as vital statistics, are continuing to use the 1977
standards during the transition to full implementation of the 1997
standards. Estimates were developed for each state and its counties
by age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, and sex categories. The current
set of estimates presented in this report has not been rounded. However,
it should not be presumed that they have the degree of accuracy which
such precise figures might imply. NCHS does not consider these estimates
to be accurate for each individual cell and recommends aggregating
the individual cells to larger groups when the data are used for purposes
of analysis. Estimates are distributed by five-year age groups, sex,
four race groups (White, Black, American Indian and Alaska Native,
and Asian and Pacific Islander), and Hispanic ethnicity for the state
and each county (Tables P1-P22). Hispanics
may be of any race and are already included in the race groups in
each table. Population estimates are given for municipalities with
40,000 or more residents in 2000 (Table P23).
These are the municipalities listed in the birth and death chapters
of this report.
The reporting of births and deaths is considered to
be essentially complete. According to NCHS, more than 99 percent of
births and deaths are registered. Reporting of fetal deaths is believed
to be somewhat less complete. For later periods of gestation, however,
fetal death reporting is thought to be more complete (NCHS, 1994).
The completeness of reporting by residence is dependent on the effective
functioning of the interstate data exchange program for certificates
which is fostered and encouraged by NCHS. Research has shown that
there is some degree of slippage in receiving information on all births
and deaths of New Jersey residents occurring in other states. However,
the number of missing events is thought to be small, relative to the
overall number of events.
The quality of the birth, death, and fetal death data
included in this report is a function of the accuracy and completeness
of the information recorded on the respective certificates and of
the quality control procedures employed in the coding and keying processes.
A query program in which the individual(s) responsible for completing
the certificate is questioned about missing or conflicting information
is carried out by staff of the Bureau of Vital Statistics of the New
Jersey Department of Health. This process is augmented
by the data quality control analyses performed by the Center for Health
Statistics using all of the NCHS edit criteria.
In order to participate in the national Vital Statistics
Cooperative Program, states had to achieve an error rate of two percent
or less on each certificate item for three consecutive months. The
error rates relate to both coding and data entry errors. New Jersey
has met the error tolerance requirements for the cooperative program.
After satisfying initial requirements, a monthly sample of records
is used to determine that the error rate on each birth certificate
item is approximately four percent or less and is no more than two
percent for each death certificate item other than the medical cause-of-death
information. Due to the complexity of the coding system, cause-of-death
coding has a five percent error tolerance level set by NCHS. Multiple
cause-of-death coding of New Jersey death records is performed by
ALLOCATION OF DATA
BY RESIDENCE OR OCCURRENCE
For public health planning and policy determination,
the most useful population to study is usually the resident population
of an area. In the case of births, deaths, and fetal deaths, the existence
of resident certificate exchange agreements among the registration
areas in the country permits analysis of resident birth and death
statistics. In this report, the data presented for births, deaths,
and fetal deaths represent vital events of the resident population.
Marriage and divorce statistics in this report represent vital events
which occurred in New Jersey, regardless of the state of residence
of the individuals involved.
Allocation of vital events by place of residence within
the state is sometimes difficult because classification depends on
the statement of the usual place of residence provided by the informant
at the time the certificate is completed. For a variety of reasons,
the information given may be incorrectly recorded. A common source
of error is the confusion of mailing address with residence address.
A major project to correctly allocate New Jersey births by municipality
of mother’s residence has been completed. Since the 1998 report,
selected birth data has been presented for all municipalities with
over 40,000 residents. The degree to which incorrect information on
municipality of residence has been recorded on death certificates
is not precisely known, but this issue is generally a problem only
for certain minor civil divisions. Therefore, death data are only
presented for municipalities with over 40,000 residents and which
are known to have a relatively low level of uncertainty in allocation
to Health Statistics 2000