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Ministry of Health

Foreword

The British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency is pleased to present the 1999 annual report, the one hundred and twenty-eighth published since the establishment of the Division of Vital Statistics in 1872. As one of the longest continuous government publication series in British Columbia, the vital statistics annual reports have documented demographic changes and significant improvements in the health status of B.C.'s residents throughout the twentieth century.

The 1999 annual 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 on the inside back cover 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 infant mortality in the Status Indian population and mortality trends among children and the very elderly.

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
CEO/Director
British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency