Vital Statistics

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					                                          Vital Statistics

       In Shelby County, there were a total of 14,109 live births in 2009, which is equivalent to

a birth rate of 15.5 per 1,000. The Caucasian birth rate is 12.0, while the African American birth

rate is 17.6 per 1,000 (Cooper, 2009). The mortality rate of Shelby County is 8.0 per 1,000

(Cooper, 2009). The Caucasian death rate is 8.8, while the African American death rate is 7.7

(Cooper, 2009).

       Diseases of the heart are the leading cause of death in Shelby County. Malignant

Neoplasm, also known as cancer, is the second leading cause of death in Shelby County. Cancer

is followed by cerebrovascular disease, accidents and adverse effects, and chronic lower

respiratory diseases (Community, 2009). Half of all deaths can be attributed to the following

three factors: tobacco use, diet and activity, and alcohol use. Tobacco use is the number one

leading cause of heart disease, cancers, respiratory disease and infant deaths. Diet/activity, or the

lack of, is the second leading cause of heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and infant deaths. Alcohol

use accounts for the third most common reason for heart disease, cancers, injuries, and infant

deaths (Community, 2009). Examples of the most common morbidities that are dealt with in

Shelby County are heart disease, diabetes, and high rates of hypertension (Community, 2009).

       Nationally, Memphis has the second highest infant mortality rate, just behind Detroit

(Cooper, 2009). The zip code 38108, North Memphis, has the largest infant mortality rate in the

entire city of Memphis, at a rate of 12.3 per 1,000 (Cooper, 2009). In Shelby County, an infant

dies every 43 hours, which is equivalent to 15 deaths for every 1,000 births (Cooper, 2009).

These statistics confirm the 38108 zip code has a higher infant mortality rate than in some Third

World countries (Cooper, 2009). The North Memphis population struggles with poverty and

extremely high crime rates. In Shelby County, 61.9% of all live births are from an unmarried
mother (Cooper, 2009). One of the major issues in the 38108 zip code is teen pregnancy. Some

of these young mothers may not have the skills or financial stability to deliver or even raise

healthy children (Cooper, 2009). In 2008, 67,074 females between the ages of 10-19 gave birth.

Of the 67,074 who gave birth in 2009, 41,353 were from African American females (Cooper,


         According to Memphis Crime Data, Memphis is safer than 2% of the other cities in the

United States (Neighborhood, 2009). Memphis’ violent crime rate is 1 in 64 people compared to

the entire United States at 1 in 126 people (Neighborhood, 2009). It is estimated that there are

216 crimes per square mile in the city of Memphis. Also in Memphis, 0.17 murders are reported

for every 1,000 people compared to the entire United States having a rate of 0.06 (Neighborhood,

2009). Not only are one’s chances of being a victim of a violent crime, such as robbery or rape,

doubled in Memphis, but also their chance of being murdered.

         When comparing Healthy People 2020 to the statistics of 38108, diabetes, tobacco and

alcohol use, infant mortality rates, and crime statistics are far from reaching the goals set by

Healthy People 2020. Help must be implemented through education, screening and support

groups to help the community reach the goals of Healthy People 2020.

Community Health Status Indicators (2009). Community Health Status Indicators Report.

       Retrieved from

Cooper, Susan R., (2009). Department of Health: Vital Statistics. Retrieved from

Neighborhood Scout (2009). Memphis Crime Rates. Retrieved from

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