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Ministry of Health


The Division of Vital Statistics became the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency in 1996 when it was established as the province's first special operating agency. The Agency continues the legislated responsibilities and services of the Division under the Vital Statistics Act and other legislation.

The 1998 Vital Statistics Annual Report is the one hundred and twenty-seventh published since 1872. The report presents vital event related data based on information collected by the Agency from registration documents of births, deaths, and marriages, and updates the provisional statistics which are released throughout the year in the Agency's Quarterly Digest. Many of the tables and statistics in this report have become standard population health status indicators that are widely used by regional and provincial health care planners and managers.

This publication contains over 80 tables, figures, and maps that summarize selected information about the health of British Columbians. The report also includes a detailed glossary defining the terms and statistical methods used in the body of the publication, and a list of the Agency's recent publications. An index of key words is presented to assist locating topics of interest. This report also includes a set of Information Boxes which supplement standard tables, highlight the results of recent research projects, or provide frequently requested information not presented elsewhere in the report. Of particular interest in this year's report are the Information Boxes on infectious diseases and health status indicators for the province's Status Indian Population.

Throughout the report, key indicators are presented for the Ministry of Health's revised health regions (HR) and local health areas (LHA). The boundaries of these standard data dissemination areas correspond to those of the Regional Health Boards, Community Health Service Societies, and Community Health Councils. In addition, summary data for incorporated communities in the province are presented in Appendix 1.

Vital Statistics would like to acknowledge the assistance of the many health professionals and institutions who are responsible for ensuring the accurate recording of vital events. This publication is the culmination of efforts from many groups and individuals who contribute to the continual improvement in the quality of the data and this publication.

R.J. Danderfer
British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency

Readers who wish to obtain additional copies of the 1998 Vital Statistics Annual Report can do so through:
Crown Publications
521 Fort Street
Victoria, B.C. V8W 1E7
Telephone (250) 386-4636
Facsimile (250) 386-0221