The annual report of births, deaths and other vital statistics by the state health department is now available. The new data shows a decline in the Kansas birth rate to the lowest level since the record keeping began in 1912.
The abortion rate also continued to decline and reached the lowest level since 1971, which is when abortion reporting began.
The birth rate in 2011, according to the report, was 13.8 live births per 1,000 population.
There were 39,628 live births recorded, about 2 percent fewer than reported for 2010. The rate was slightly lower than the previous low of 13.9 births per 1,000 population in 1973.
Births to young mothers, those under age 20, were down 8.6 percent.
Among the other report findings:
• Cancer again topped heart disease as the leading cause of death.
• Injuries from accidents and pneumonia/influenza each rose one level in the ranking of top 10 causes of death, coming in at fourth and eighth respectively.
• There were 247 infant deaths in 2011, a decrease of 2.4 percent from the 253 deaths in 2010. Pregnancy associated maternal deaths increased to 24 in 2011 from 19 in 2010.
• The number of reported abortions fell from 8,373 in 2010 to 7,885 in 2011. The ratio was 99.6 abortions per 1,000 live births.
→ More Kansas vital stats from 2011 in the full report, available on khi.org.