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Gulf Coast Births Fell Post-Katrina

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Births plummeted in most of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina in the 12 months after the catastrophic storm, a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found.

Overall, in 14 coastal counties and parishes of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, births declined 19 percent in the year after the hurricane compared with the year before the storm, according to a review of birth certificates filed in Federal Emergency Management Agency-designated areas of the Gulf Coast.

In the selected parishes of Louisiana, births dropped 30 percent and in Mississippi, 13 percent. But births increased 6 percent in the selected areas of Alabama.

Other findings:

Births in the chosen parishes of Louisiana plunged 51 percent among non-Hispanic black women, 21 percent for Hispanic women, 34 percent for Asian/Pacific Islanders and 14 percent for non-Hispanic whites.

Among non-Hispanic black women in Orleans Parish, the central parish of New Orleans, the proportion of total births fell from 78 percent before the storm to 60 percent afterward.

The proportion of teen births was unchanged, except in the Louisiana counties where teen births fell 11 percent.

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