The information contained on this site has been prepared as reference data. The information presented here is taken form birth, and death certificates. Population estimates are obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau and CDC.

Philosophical considerations are made to the concept of providing commonly used data and giving a survey of the types of data available. Should more detailed information be required in some area, this office may be able to supply that on request. In regard to a break in the annual consistency of some tables, this office has consistent trend data on many factors from 1975 through 2004.

In 2001, an intensive campaign was done educate medical staff on the filing process and to raise awareness related item non-response. New editing protocols were also put in place to monitor reporting. Additionally, Oklahoma became the 47th state to implement the new Electronic Birth Certificate (EBC) system. The EBC was introduced to all hospitals with an emphasis placed on those larger facilities that were responsible for delivering a majority of the babies born in the state. Additional smaller facilities that expressed interest in the program were also brought on-line. These facilities employed the user-friendly system to complete and submit the birth certificate information electronically to the State Vital Records office, typically within 48 hours, in lieu of the traditional paper Birth Certificate. Fifty-four percent of birth certificates filed in 2001 were filed using the EBC system (100% in 2002). Those facilities that are not yet using the new system have continued to submit the information using the traditional paper format and they are entered into the system once they arrive at the state health department.  The edit checks built into EBC system allows for a more accurate reporting of data contained on the birth certificate. As a result of the extensive training effort and the new technology, the number of unknowns reported on the birth certificate has dropped significantly. For example, the amount of records that were missing the number of prenatal care visits dropped from 11 percent to less than one percent and the number of records missing tobacco use dropped from 13 percent to less than one percent. In general, it appears that most missing items were missing at random, as few distributions changed significantly. Training and EBC installation at additional facilities is on-going.

In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau instituted a significant change in the way information on race is collected on the census instrument. Individuals are now able to report race in multiple categories rather than being required to choose one 'best' category. However, race is still collected as a single category in Vital Statistics. Given this radical difference, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) generated population estimates with bridged racial categories which has taken the 31 racial categories from the 2000 Census and estimated the populations using the 1977 standard (choose one "best") racial and ethnic categories (White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, and Other and the ethnic categories of Hispanic and Non-Hispanic).  For more information on these population estimates go to http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/dvs/popbridge/popbridge.htm.  

The Vital Records office is working diligently to implement the new multiple racial categories as quickly as possible for the state.

The birth certificate lists only the reported race of each parent. Until 1989, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the federal agency in charge of all Vital Records, used a complex algorithm to determine the race of the infant. Generally speaking, this formula identified the race of the infant as the race of the darker parent. In 1989, both classifications were reported. Since then, national comparisons with race can be made only using that of the mother. In this office, we have data using both classifications back to 1975.

The American Indian population does not reside within reservation boundaries in Oklahoma, and is, therefore, more heterogeneously distributed throughout the population of the state. As a result the standard way of classifying race does not reliably document the American Indian births and deaths. Special attention should be given to the data when studying information related to race.

The revised IHS (Indian Health Service) Racial Categories is a work in progress where Oklahoma Vital Records are matched with IHS records those individuals that were in the IHS database are considered Native Americans, and those not matched are unchanged. 

When calculating percentages, unknown values are subtracted from the total number of births or deaths. Therefore, the percentages are based solely on reported values.

Other types of data and more detailed information from Vital Statistics may be requested by contacting Health Care Information, (405) 426-8030 of the Oklahoma State Department of Health.