Health gains cited by federal government
October 4, 1996
Web posted at: 10;50 a.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States was a healthier place
to live in 1995, according to U.S. government statistics
"Today we have good news about America's health," said Health
and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala in announcing the
In its annual report card of health indicators HHS reported:
- Murder rates, grouped by age, dropped 15 percent last
year, and the actual number of homicides was down from 24,926
in 1994 to 21,577 last year.
- Infant mortality dropped to a record low of 7.5 deaths per
1,000 live births in 1995. The figure represents a 6-percent
reduction from 1994, but still leaves the United States
ranked about 20th among western industrial nations in this
- The teen birth rate was down 3 percent last year. Among
African-American teens, the decline equals 17 percent since
1991. Government officials say the numbers indicate an
increase in condom use.
- The overall birth rate for unmarried women dropped 4
percent last year. This was the first time in 50 years that
the number, rate and proportion of births to unmarried women
- The death rate from AIDS did not increase from the
previous year, the first time that has happened. Still, the
actual number of AIDS-related deaths rose to 42,500--the
- Life expectancy reached 75.8-years, matching the 1992
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