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Births to mothers under the age of 15 drops to zero in FY2016

[SN file photo]
LBJ hospital reported 1,013 births and 280 deaths in FY2016

The Statistical Yearbook 2016 reports that births to girls “under age 15” dropped to zero in FY2016, a significant decline from 2010 when there were seven.

However, of the total births in the year 2016, 10% of the births were to teenage mothers — ages 15-19, according to information from the LBJ Medical Center, cited in the American Samoa Statistical Yearbook 2016 released late last week.

Over the years, there have always been serious concerns in the community regarding teenaged girls giving birth. And there have been outreach programs from both government and non-government sectors addressing this issue.

Among the sections of the yearbook 2016, one deals with Vital and Health Statistics, which states that LBJ hospital reported 1,013 births and 280 deaths in 2016. Teen births made up 10% of total births. Age groups 20-24 and 25-29 accounted for 29% and 27% of births respectively.

Specific data in the yearbook shows that of the total births in FY2016, 99 were to mothers ages 15-19; 292 to mothers ages 20-24; 271 to mothers ages 25-29; 196 to mothers ages 30-34; 112 to mothers ages 35-39; 41 to mothers ages 40-44; and two to mothers ages 45-49.

The yearbook provides data for the past 10-years — between 2006 and 2016. For example, in 2015, for age group 15-19, there were 107 births; 2014 has 117; 2013 with 135; 2012 with 129; 2011 has 138; and 2010 with 120.

For “under age 15”, there were no births reported between 2014 and 2016; however, there were two in 2013; four in 2012; one in 2011; and seven in 2010, according to data provided by LBJ.

It also states that May 2016 has the highest number of births for that year at 118.

Of the total births in 2016, a total of 500 were males and 513 were females. The data also provides the total number of “legitimate” and “illegitimate” births - both male and female.

An interesting factor shown in the data is that in 2016, there were five sets of twins and two sets of triplets; while there were 8 sets of twins in 2015 but no triplets. The highest number of sets of twins was 20 in 2011 — which is also the same year there was one set of triplets born.

The yearbook also reported — based on LBJ data — that the leading causes of death in 2016 were heart disease (19.3% or 54 deaths), malignant neoplasm (15.7% or 44 deaths), septicemia (12.5% or 35 deaths), influenza/pneumonia (10.7% or 30 deaths), and hypertension (10% or 28 deaths).

All other causes of death including not specified were at 31.8% (or 26 deaths), according to the yearbook, which provides data on deaths for each month, with May the highest number of deaths at 44.

While the passing of anyone’s loved ones brings sadness in any family, perhaps a sadder issue for a family is the passing of little children. In 2016, according to the data, 14 infants — under the age of one were among the deaths of that year compared to 11 in 2015. Data provides age and gender of deaths between 2006 and 2016.


According to the yearbook, natural population growth (not counting immigration) is defined as total births minus deaths.

It explains that the natural growth of the population in 2016 was 733 a 6.7% decrease from the previous year. Natural growth prior to 2011 registered above 1,000 persons added to the local population each year.

Regarding hospital visits, the number of out-patient visits in 2016 was 112,653 a significant drop from the previous year.  It also states that most out-patient clinic visits dropped in 2016.

The Vital Statistics Office of the local Department of Homeland Security reported 253 marriage licenses were issued in 2016 a drop from 2015, which reported 264 marriages. Data in the yearbook also provides the number of marriage license issued for each month between 2006 and 2016.