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A `live birth' is 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 other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or any definite movement of voluntary muscles, whether or not the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached. (Definition adopted by the World Health Organization in 1950.)
An `unmarried' mother is one who has never been legally married or who has been widowed or legally divorced from her husband for more than 280 days.
`Birth order' is the sum of all previous deliveries (live births plus other reported terminations, i.e., spontaneous and induced at any time after conception) plus the present live birth.
`Birth weight' is expressed in grams. A low-weight birth is defined as a live born infant weighing less than 2500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces or less) at birth, regardless of the period of gestation. (Birth Weight Index recommended by the expert group on prematurity of the World Health Organization, 1950.)
`Age of mother' is her reported age in completed years on her last birthday.
`Education of mother' is the number of years of school completed by the mother at time of the birth.
Beginning in 1990, the last seven tables of this report (Tables 16-22) provide new birth certificate items by birth weight by race. These pertain to medical history of the mother, maternal smoking and weight gain, obstetric procedures, events of labor and delivery, method of delivery, and conditions of the newborn. These items were added to the North Carolina birth certificate in 1988. In Tables 16 and 19-22, the row totals do not equal the total number of live births because some births involve multiple conditions.
Births are assigned to the usual residence of the mother, regardless of the place of occurrence.
Two broad categories, `white' and `minority,' are used. About 90 percent of the minority births in North Carolina are African American, and this category also includes births to American Indians and mothers of other races. Births to Hispanics (an ethnic group) are included mainly in the `white' racial group. In cases of mixed parentage, the newborn is considered to be the race of the mother.
COMPLETENESS OF BIRTH REGISTRATION
Counts and percentages in this report are based on live births filed with the local registrar before April and processed in the state office prior to May of the year following the birth. The number filed subsequently is considered negligible for statistical purposes.
Page Last Updated Friday March 09 2012