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Health Indicator Report of Cesarean Deliveries

Compared to vaginal deliveries, cesareans carry an increased risk of infection, blood clots, longer recovery, and difficulty with future pregnancies. Reducing cesarean births among low-risk (full-term, singleton, and vertex presentation) women is a goal of the Healthy People 2020 initiative.


The uptick in both methods of delivery in 2016 is due to more accurate reporting of NJ resident births that occur out of state, resulting is fewer births with unknown method of delivery.

Data Source

Birth Certificate Database, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, New Jersey Department of Health


The method by which an infant is extracted from its mother


Number of method-specific births


Total number of live births

How Are We Doing?

The cesarean delivery rate among New Jersey mothers declined in 2010 for the first time since the mid-1990s and in 2017 stood at 36% of births. Cesareans are performed more frequently among older mothers, multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.), and preterm infants. The cesarean delivery rate among White mothers is significantly lower than among Hispanics mothers and the Hispanic rate is significantly lower than the rates among Black and Asian mothers. The cesarean rate among Ocean County residents (the lowest in the state) is half the rate among Passaic County residents (the highest). The cesarean rate among [ low risk] (full term, singleton, vertex presentation) deliveries is a few percentage points lower than for all deliveries but demographic and trend patterns remain the same.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In the early 1990s, the cesarean rate in New Jersey began to exceed that of the nation as a whole and continued to rise more quickly than the national rate. The rate has slowly decreased in recent years and the New Jersey rate is currently about 12% higher than the national rate.

What Is Being Done?

In 2017, a team composed of DOH staff and external partners [ collaborated] to develop a plan to reduce low risk c-sections in New Jersey hospitals. In 2018, DOH awarded [ $4.7 million] to eight agencies to improve health outcomes among infants and mothers in New Jersey, including implementation of a doula pilot program to reduce the likelihood of certain birth and delivery/labor outcomes such as cesarean births.
Page Content Updated On 05/24/2019, Published on 05/24/2019
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 11 July 2020 21:01:43 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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