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New Jersey Health Statistics, 2002



  • There were 114,642 births to New Jersey residents in 2002, a decline from 115,769 in 2001.

  • The crude birth rate was 13.3 per 1,000 population. 

  • Births to teens 12-19 years old decreased to 6.5 percent of births.

  • The birth rate for females aged 15-17 years decreased to 14.7 per 1,000 population.

  • The age group with the highest birth rate (113.2 per 1,000) continued to be women aged 30-34 years.

  • More than half of births were to women aged 30 years and over.

  • The median age of first-time mothers rose slightly to 27.8 years.

  • For the first time, half of Hispanic births were to mothers of Central or South American origin.

  • The percentage of mothers who were unmarried continued its rise and was nearly 30 percent.

  • More than 65 percent of non-Hispanic black women and women under the age of 25 who gave birth were unmarried.

  • Nearly three-quarters of mothers received prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy.

  • Four percent of infants were part of a twin delivery.

  • Over 55 percent of twins, triplets, and quadruplets were delivered prematurely.

  • Fifteen percent of births to non-Hispanic black mothers were premature (<37 weeks of gestation).

  • Nearly 8 percent of infants were of low birth weight (< 2,500 grams).

  • Among non-Hispanic black mothers, the low birth weight rate was 13.2 percent.

  • More than half of twins, triplets, and quadruplets were of low birth weight.

  • The cesarean delivery rate rose to 30 percent of all live births.

  • The rate of vaginal birth after a previous cesarean fell below half of its 1996 peak rate.

  • Labor was stimulated in 28.0 percent of deliveries and induced in 18.3 percent.


  • There were 74,009 deaths of New Jersey residents in 2002.

  • For the first time since 1998, some of the rankings of the ten leading causes of death changed.  Unintentional injuries overtook diabetes as the fifth leading cause of death, making diabetes the sixth, and septicemia overtook influenza and pneumonia as the seventh leading cause of death, making influenza and pneumonia the eighth leading cause of death.

  • The age-adjusted death rate was 808.8 per 100,000 standard population, representing a 2.8 percent decrease from 2001.

  • Life expectancy for New Jersey residents born in 2002 was 78.1 years.

  • The age-adjusted death rate for males was 38 percent higher than for females and the rate for blacks was 31 percent higher than that of whites.

  • Heart disease, cancer, and stroke remained the three leading causes of death and accounted for 60 percent of all deaths.

  • Unintentional injury remained the leading cause of death of persons under age 44 and was the third leading cause of death among all males.

  • Cancer remained the leading cause of death of persons aged 45-64.

  • Lung cancer alone caused more deaths than stroke, the third leading cause of death.

  • There were 1,781 deaths related to drugs, alcohol, and/or firearms.

  • For the first time, one-quarter of decedents were cremated.

 Infant and Fetal Deaths

  • The infant mortality rate decreased nearly 11 percent between 2001 and 2002 to 5.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, despite the increase in the rate nationally.

  • The fetal death rate was 6.8 per 1,000 live births plus fetal deaths.

  • The non-Hispanic black infant and fetal mortality rates remained at three times the rates for non-Hispanic whites and twice the rates for Hispanics.

  • Disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight remained the leading cause of infant deaths.

  • The cause of death was unspecified in 28.5 percent of fetal deaths.

 Marriages and Divorces

  • There were 51,473 marriages in New Jersey in 2002.

  • The marriage rate was 6.0 per 1,000 population.

  • There were 29,191 divorces in 2002 and the rate was 3.4 per 1,000 population.

  • The number of marriages decreased 5.6 percent from 2001, while the number of divorces increased 2.4 percent.

  • The median age at marriage increased for both brides and grooms.

  • For the first time, more than a quarter of brides were previously divorced.

  • June was the most popular month for marriages in 2002, followed by September and August.

  • Cape May County continued to have the highest ratio of marriages to population.

Return to Health Statistics 2002 Index

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